I am very impress the way he explained the perfect infinitive. I tried to contact him but found no email. Could any one kind enough to explain the gerunds as he explained perfect infinitive? Perfect infinitive

I'm new here. If I'm not following any rules please pardon me.

  • It would be difficult to explain gerunds as he explained the perfect infinitive as they don't have much in common. A gerund is merely a noun that is made from a verb (by adding the suffix "-ing"). They function just like any other nouns.
    – AngelPray
    Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 10:43
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Is this -ing form a gerund or a participle?
    – user3395
    Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 16:21

2 Answers 2


A gerund is a noun formed from a verb by adding the -ing ending to the bare infinitive.

Leaping uses the leg muscles.

Sometimes spelling conventions require the consonant to be doubled, but that's a historical orthographic artefact and it has got nothing to do with the grammatical function of the word:

Jogging is a form of exercise.

The gerund allows us to refer to the action of the verb nominally, so it can be used as a subject or object.

P.S. Not every word ending in -ing is a gerund. Some are participles, functioning as verbs, and some even function as gradable adjectives.

P.P.S. There are verbs, moreover, for which it would not be idiomatic to express the nominal with a gerund, for example, confuse, whose nominal form is confusion not confusing.


Terminology: Gerunds and infinitives are both verbals.

First, if a verb can take a verbal as an "object" or complement, it's going to be an infinitive and has nothing to do with the below. Sometimes the to is omitted.

I want to walk away.

I want to say to him what I think.

The main function of the infinitive is to let you use a verb without predicating anything—that is, separately from making a claim.

For example, in "The cat wishes to sit on the mat", the verb is "wishes", and the sentence claims that the cat is wishing something.

@BenKovitz's answer from your referenced question is very good.

In this sentence:

The cat wishes to sit on the mat

"To sit" is being talked about abstractly here. Whereas in something like this:

Falling asleep was not good for the cat, it got caught by an eagle

"Falling asleep" is not abstract. It's referring to an actual instance of that action being performed.

If you switch to the infinitive, then you are talking about something that might/could/would/wants to happen, not something that was happening or did happen.

To fall asleep was not good for the cat, it would be in danger of getting caught by an eagle. So the cat stayed awake.

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