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Maybe I did not make the question in the best way the first time, I am sorry. What I meant by "basic" form of the verb is the verb without "TO".
Another examples related to my doubt: 1.- "I think to walk up the hill will be good for you" OR "I think walking up the hill will be good for you" 2.- "I think to work on Sunday, it's a good idea" OR "I thing working on Sunday it's a good idea" Thank you.

  • Try: I think walking up the hill will be good for you. No to's here. – Lambie Oct 21 '18 at 16:44
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THINK takes a sentence complement: "that (sentence}" (but the word "that" can often be omitted).

So in your examples the complement is "[that] walking up the hill will be good for you" or "[that] to walk up the hill will be good for you".

So your question is not really about "think" at all - it is about how to form a noun phrase from "walk up the hill", so that it can be the subject of "is good for you".

And the answer is that either one will do. I think I would be more inclined to say "walking", but "to walk" is perfectly acceptable.

Edit: I will lay out the structure:

  1. I (noun-phrase: subject) think (verb) [walking up the hill will be good for you] (noun phrase: complement, or object)

  2. [walking up the hill] (noun phrase: subject) [will be] (verb) [good for you] (adjectival phrase: complement).

  3. [walking/to walk] (non-finite verb) [up the hill] (adverbial phrase)

You see that "walking" or "to walk" is in 3, the non-finite clause which is the subject of sentence 2; which is itself embedded in sentence 1. There is no grammatical relation between "think" and "walking/to walk".

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  • I am really sorry gentlemen, but I still have a problem. I just looked in differents pages on the web and the verb think does not appear, neither in the list of verbs followed by a gerund nor by the list of infinitives. Why is that? Another example and with this I finish, I promise; "I am a doctor and I just gave a the patient a few choices to treat his illness, and then I add: If you ask me, I THINK to operate is the best choice for you! or "I THINK operating is the best choice for you" Colin, did you tell me in your answer that I must put the word "THAT" after the verb TO THINK? – claudio sepulveda Oct 21 '18 at 18:01
  • @claudiosepulveda your comment's sentence "If you ask me, I THINK to operate is the best choice for you" is an unnecessary overload on the sentence. You can either say "If you ask me, an operation is your best choice." OR "I think that an operation is your best choice." But not both. – Weather Vane Oct 21 '18 at 18:54
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    @claudiosepulveda: not quite. I am saying that you are misanalysing: "think" is not followed by a verb, but by an embedded sentence, which may start with "that", but does not have to. The embedded sentence contains a finite verb: in the case of your examples, the verb is "will be". The subject of the embedded sentence in your example is the noun phrase "walking up the hill" or "to walk up the hill", but grammatically this has no connection whatever with the matrix verb "think" - it's inside a sentence which is the complement of "think". (continued...) – Colin Fine Oct 21 '18 at 23:40
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    @claudiosepulveda: it's like asking if "see" can be followed by "my". Well, yes it can, because you can say "Did you see my house?". But there is no grammatical relation between "see" and "my": the thing that has a grammatical relation with "see" is the noun phrase "my house". The verb "see" does not put any grammatical constraint on what is inside that noun phrase: it could be a name (eg "Paris"), a noun with no article ("clouds"), a noun with an article ("the moon"), a noun with a possessive ("my book"), a noun with a relative clause "the person who left that bag" and many other things. – Colin Fine Oct 21 '18 at 23:45
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To think of + gerund ‐ to think + to‐infinitive https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00138388208598158

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    But the original question was not about "to think of". It was about "to think" in the sense of "have an opinion", which has a different meaning and structure. – Colin Fine Oct 21 '18 at 23:55

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