GERUND AND INFINITIVES
Read the following sentences.
- Alice likes painting.
- She would like to paint this landscape.
- John likes playing cricket.
- He would like to play cricket this evening.
Here sentence 1 means that Alice likes painting as an art. It is a general statement. Sentence 2 means that she would like to paint a particular scene.
Similarly sentence 3 is a general statement about John’s liking for cricket as a game. Sentence 4 says that he would like to play cricket on a particular occasion.
Thus we have seen that the gerund is used for making general statements whereas the infinitive is used for making statements about particular occasions – especially after verbs expressing likes and dislikes.
- I hate getting up early in the morning. (More natural than ‘I hate to get up early in the morning.)
- She likes going to the movies.
Interchange of gerunds and infinitives
Gerunds and infinitives are often interchangeable, both as subjects and objects of verbs.
- Playing games is good for health.
- To play games is good for health.
- Smoking is forbidden.
- To smoke is forbidden.
- Reading is a good habit.
- To read is a good habit.
- I intend to visit my grandparents next week.
- I intend visiting my grandparents next week.