I came across a sentence from wikipedia.

The new members advocated to resume what they regarded as the unfinished armed revolution against foreign and feudal domination, referring to the legacy and de facto continuation of the Philippine–American War of 1899, combat subjectivism and opportunism in the history of the old merger party and fight modern revisionism then being promoted by the Soviet Union.

I came to know that certain verbs must be followed by a gerund (the "ing" form of a verb). So in this case, can I rephrase this to

The new members advocated resuming what they regarded ...

Is this correct?

  1. If yes, what are the certain verbs that must be followed by a gerund?
  2. If not, what is the reason behind this?
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of When to use gerund or infinitive? Jun 23, 2016 at 12:05
  • For question 1, I think you just have to memorize whether a verb is followed by a gerund or a to infinitive (or both). You can find lists of these online. Jun 23, 2016 at 12:23

2 Answers 2


Firstly, I should say that I am a learner as you, but I want to share my thoughts. I wish you and others help me to improve my answer by your comments.

I start with the definition of advocate:

to publicly support or suggest an idea, development, or way of doing something; [Transitive Verb ]

Based on my google searches, you can use advocate mainly in five ways.

  • advocate + VERB + ing

    they advocate using coercive power of the state

  • advocate + for + something

    they advocate for equal rights

  • advocate + something

    The tyranny advocate the use of violence to gain power

  • advocate + that

    They advocate that we take responsibility for our actions.

  • advocate + to + infinitive

    He did not advocate to use this approach.

Thus, if you ask whether or not it is grammatical I say yes, but if you ask which pattern is more natural among the others, I am not sure.

In terms of your second question, gerunds can act as nouns and they can be used after verbs, but the question is where.

  1. They can follow certain verbs having certain prepositions (object to, insist on, ...):

    He confessed to stealing the money (to is preposition)

  2. They can be used after objects with perception verbs (watch, see, hear, feel, ...):

    I saw them running on the bridge

  3. They can be used after verbs having liking or hating connotation ( detest, love, ... )

    I like Tom winning the match

    I hate Tom's winning the match

  4. They can be placed immediately after the verb, acting as an object (similar verbs, enjoy, finish, consider, imagine, ...)

    You should avoid driving when you are drunk

However, as @TRomano mentioned, a transitive verb needs an object and a gerund can be used as the object since they act as nouns. There is no specific list, but I agree that we can use several common patterns and verbs to convey our intents to the native naturally.

  • 1
    You can find lists of which verbs take "to+infinitive" and which take gerunds. For example, this website—although there are likely more comprehensive lists online. Jun 23, 2016 at 12:25
  • @PeterShor I just saw your profile. I just cannot stop myself from saying that I admire persons like you professor and wish you the bests. And, thank you for the suggestion.
    – Cardinal
    Jun 23, 2016 at 12:48

There is no requirement that certain verbs be followed by a gerund; a transitive verb requires a nominal object, a what or a something.

The to-infinitive, like the gerund, can serve as a nominal.

They advocated ___what____.

They advocated a plan which would renegotiate the debt.

They advocated renegotiating the debt.

They advocated to renegotiate the debt.

But there are a fair number of verbs that do not accept as complement an -ing form of the verb, and others which do not accept as complement a to-infinitive form of the verb, and some verbs which do not accept either form.

  • Why this answer qualified for a down-vote ?
    – Cardinal
    Jun 23, 2016 at 12:12
  • I wasn't the downvoter, but the answer is wrong. They advocated to renegotiate sounds okay to me, but he finished to build the house is definitely ungrammatical. It should be he finished building the house. So maybe there is no requirement for advocate, but certain verbs, like finish, do have this requirement. Jun 23, 2016 at 12:17
  • But there's no requirement that "finished" be followed by a gerund. The requirement is that it not be followed by an infinitive.
    – TimR
    Jun 23, 2016 at 12:31
  • @TRomano: if finished is followed by a verb, it has to be a gerund. I finished build ..., I finished to build ..., I finished that I built ... are all wrong. I assumed that the OP was only talking about verb forms, and your answer is totally unclear about this. Jun 24, 2016 at 12:39
  • OK, fair enough. I've added a note.
    – TimR
    Jun 24, 2016 at 14:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .