Gerunds and Infinitives – ESL Grammar Game

Practice using gerunds (-ing) and infinitives (to) with this ESL grammar game.  Click the play button to begin.
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Gerunds & Infinitives – Gerunds are verbs that function as nouns. They end with –ing. Meanwhile infinitives are formed with the word ‘to’ in front of the verb. Both gerunds and infinitives can be used to replace a noun in sentence. Since they act as nouns, they can become the subject of sentence. Read More
The following examples help illustrate how they work as subjects of a sentence:
  • Jogging is a good form of exercise.
  • To jog is a good form of exercise.
You can also use gerunds and infinitives as the object of the verb. For example –
  • I like swimming.
  • I like to swim.
So far so good but we are not out of the woods yet. I hear you ask – What is the difference in usage? There in is lies the bigger question. It is not always obvious to know when to use one or the other. Yet, the choice of using a gerund or an infinitive can greatly affect the meaning of sentence.  Here are a few rules to help:
  • Gerunds – best for use in sentences where action is complete or have been completed, or real. For example – I stopped answering the phone. Here it means I was answering the phone all along and now I just completed answering the phone and moved on to something else.
  • Infinitives – best for use in sentences about actions that will either occur in the future, are unreal or simply abstract. For example – I stopped to answer the phone. Here it means I was in the middle of something, then first I stopped, then I answer the phone next.
You only get good at using them correctly on an instinctive basis. The game above helps you practice using gerunds and infinitives correctly.Read Less