When should I use "Gerund" or "to infinitive" after Hate + object?


  • I would hate you to think that I don't appreciate your help.
  • What kind of things do you hate people saying to you?

2 Answers 2


The verb "hate" (also "like" and "love") have slightly different meanings depending on whether you use a gerund or infinitive after.

With a gerund, it means you hate (or like or love) that activity:

I hate getting flat tires in the rain.

With an infinitive, it doesn't mean you hate that activity, but that you prefer not to do it (or with "like" and "love" that you strongly prefer to do it):

I hate to do this to you, but you're fired.

Your examples have the specified agents of the infinitive/gerund, "you" and "people". These are optional parts of the structure, and only appear when necessary. If they're left out, the agent of the gerund/infinitive is understood to be the subject of the sentence.

[ "hate" (+ ("for") agent) + "to" + infinitive ]
[ "hate" (+ agent) + gerund ]

So, your examples above mean that you'd prefer they not think you don't appreciate their help, and that you hate when people say those things to you.

  • Thank you for your explanation. I am wondering whether this changes when we have an Object after hate. according to the verb pattern : Hate + **object**+ gerund / to infinitive Oct 7, 2022 at 14:26
  • @MeriemAISSAOUI The gerund or infinitive is the object. "Hate" can't have two objects.
    – gotube
    Oct 7, 2022 at 15:16
  • In this case what are "you" (from sentence 1) and "people" (from sentence2)? Oct 7, 2022 at 15:27
  • @MeriemAISSAOUI Gotcha. I've updated my answer
    – gotube
    Oct 7, 2022 at 17:06
  • @gotube, In your answer, your sentence drew my attention. ".....you'd prefer they not think you don't appreciate their help, ........" The structure of the verb "prefer". Your sentence's structure seems to be "prefer someone do something", but Cambridge dictionary says so: When we are talking about our preferences for the actions of another person, we can use would prefer + object pronoun + to-infinitive or would prefer it if + past simple: - They’d prefer us to come later. (or They’d prefer it if we came later.) - Would you prefer me to drive? (or Would you prefer it if I drove?)
    – Yunus
    Jul 15, 2023 at 17:46

Would hate is usually followed by to + infinitive (would hate you to think...)

Hate can be followed by either a to-infinitive or an -ing form. (...hate people saying...or hate people to say...)

Gerund (-ing form) emphasises the action and to-infinitive expresses preferences.

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