There are three things but they are all related to each other.

1)-Is every verb allowed to use as a gerund or infinitive? If a verb has the first form and participle form, it means it can be used as infinitive or gerund?

2|)-Secondly, Every verb doesn't allow to use gerund or infinitive after it. Which dictionary helps or explain either this verb allows the usage of infinitive or gerund?

3)- confusion raises more when you think of cantenative verb. Is every transitive verb a catenative verb? Is there any dictionary dictates the particular types of verb.


  • Every verb has an infinitival form, of course, and a gerund-participle form. But not all verbs take non-finite clausal complements (some are strongly stative), but those that do are called 'catenative' verbs. It's quite a big topic!
    – BillJ
    Nov 23, 2017 at 8:25
  • 1
    @bill Yes. (Well, apart from modal verbs. They don't have either. The verb beware only has a plain form. The verb used doesn't have an -ing form and can't be used in a to-infinitival construction.) Nov 23, 2017 at 14:08
  • @Araucaria Yes, yes! Don't nit-pick! Since the OP's question is about infinitives and gerunds, I was of course referring only to full-blown lexical verbs. Incidentally Wiki gives an ing form for "beware" link but I've never encountered it
    – BillJ
    Nov 23, 2017 at 14:35
  • The verbs which don't have all the expected forms are called "defective".
    – user230
    Apr 11, 2018 at 8:50

1 Answer 1


Not every verb can be used as a gerund or an infinitive.

A gerund is a verb in its ing (present participle) form that functions as a noun that names an activity rather than a person or thing. Any action verb can be made into a gerund.

An infinitive is a verb form that acts as other parts of speech in a sentence. It is formed with to + base form of the verb.

Modal verbs (e.g. can, may, must) cannot be used in these ways.

A Google search for just the two keywords "gerund infinitive" returns many pages with information and examples.

  • In traditional grammar, there are two ing forms: the present participle and the gerund. But in modern grammar we recognise only one, called the 'gerund-participle'. The important point is that it is a verb, though a few of them can form nouns by conversion (called gerundial nouns) and adjectives (called participial adjectives).
    – BillJ
    Nov 23, 2017 at 7:58
  • 1
    Auxiliary verbs can have these forms, but modal auxiliary verbs cannot. Nov 23, 2017 at 14:07
  • @Araucaria Thanks, it looks like I was thinking one thing and wrote something else.
    – Mick
    Nov 24, 2017 at 0:11
  • @Araucaria. Thanks. And is there a dictionary which explains a specific verb can be used as a gerund or infinitive or it accepts or doesn't accept non-infinitive arguments. Nov 24, 2017 at 2:24

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