[Grammar] Why do some verbs are follow by 'to do' and other verbs are followed by 'doing'?

Status
Not open for further replies.

pxq0913

Member
Joined
May 28, 2013
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
Why do some verbs are follow by 'to do' and other verbs are followed by 'doing'?
Are there some common rules here to remember these grammar?
Do native speakers make mistakes when they are using this kind of grammar?
 

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
Some verbs can be followed by:

a bare infinitive: I can swim
a to- infinitive: I want to swim
a gerund: I enjoy swimming
a gerund or a to- infinitive with little difference in meaning: I like swimming/to swim
a gerund or a to- infinitive with a real difference in meaning: I tried swimming/to swim.

Unfortunately, there are no firm rules, though the core modals can be followed only by a bare infinitive. Native speakers rarely make mistakes.
 

billmcd

Key Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Why do some verbs are follow by 'to do' and other verbs are followed by 'doing'?
Are there some common rules here to remember these grammar?
Do native speakers make mistakes when they are using this kind of grammar?

Good post/question. It sent me on a mission. Here is what I found from english.stackexchange.com (that's "stack" not "stock"):

"...... the [FONT=&quot]gerund-participle ("-ing" form)[/FONT] is used when the pleasure is derived from the [FONT=&quot]action itself[/FONT], whereas the [FONT=&quot]infinitive ("to" form)[/FONT] is used when the preference is being expressed for [FONT=&quot]choosing to[/FONT] perform the action, or the [FONT=&quot]idea[/FONT] of the action, as distinct from the action itself. "

While this may be a subtle or slight difference, if you think about it, using a few examples, I think you can understand the difference. "I like doing homework/I like to do homework." "I like reading novels/I like to read novels."


 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top