Today, let’s have an English day. It’s so confusing whether I should use an -ing form or to-infinitive in the complement. Sometimes I just have to believe in my hunch. Let’s do some exercises.

1. Missing main verb

Remember that every English sentence mush have a subject and a main verb. Avoid using an -ing form, an (to) infinitive, an auxiliary verb, or another part of speech instead of a main verb.

S + V


Incorrect : Sam almost always a lot of fun.

Correct : Sam is almost always a lot of fun.

2. Verbs that require an infinitive in the Complement

Remember that the following verbs require an (to) infinitive for a verb in the complement :

agree, appear, arrange, ask, claim, consent, decide, demand, deserve, expect, fail, forget, hesitate, hope, intend, learn, manage, mean, need, offer, plan, prepare, pretend, promise, refuse, seem, tend, threaten, wait, want

Avoid using an -ing form after the verbs listed. Avoid using a verb word after want

S + V + C (to-infinitive)

Exercise :

  • We have agreed to discuss about it later
  • appear
  • arrange
  • Yesterday she asked me to buy the house
  • claim
  • consent
  • We have decided to eat at Sushi Boon
  • She demands to know about her father
  • I deserve to get better job than you
  • They expect me to make the best cake for their wedding
  • I failed to mention important clues to the investigators
  • I forgot to lock the window
  • Don’t hesitate to tell them that they’re wrong
  • I hope to meet you soon
  • I intend to bring my friends to the party
  • I learned to drive car 7 years ago
  • I managed to avoid unnecessery distraction last semester
  • She does not mean to spoil the party
  • we need to bring the biggest apple in the world
  • he was offered to move recently
  • I plan to take some round trips before we graduate
  • I have prepared to take all the responsibility
  • I pretend to care about it
  • I promise to lend it to you
  • we refused to receive a lot of money as compensation to the land
  • seem
  • tend
  • threaten
  • wait
  • I want to go to school

3. Verbs that Require an -ing Form in the Complement

Remember that the following verbs require an -ing  form for a verb in the complement.

admit, appreciate, avoid, complete, consider, delay, deny, discuss, enjoy, finish, keep, mention, miss, postpone, practice, quite, recall, recommend, regret, risk, stop, suggest, tolerate, understand

S + V + C (-ing)

Exercise (some senteces sounds odd, aren’t they?) :

  • I admit cheating on last exam
  • appreciate
  • We avoid hitting the edge
  • I complete creating the formula
  • Let’s consider having you in our team
  • delay
  • He denied killing those birds.
  • discuss
  • enjoy
  • finish
  • keep
  • mention
  • miss
  • postphone
  • practice
  • quite
  • recall
  • recommend
  • regret
  • risk
  • stop
  • suggest
  • tolerate
  • understand

4. Verb Phrases that Require an – ing Form in the Complement

approve of, be better off, can’t help, count on, do not mind, forget about, get through, insist on, keep on, look forward to, object to, think about, think of


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