Distinguishing Gerunds & Infinitives

Gerund vs Infinitive

Gerund and infinitive are grammatical elements that can be confusing for students due to their similarities. They both can be employed to explain a reason or purpose. Moreover, an object can be described using either a gerund or an infinitive. In this article, the differences between the two will be discussed.

Consider the example of a hairbrush, which is used in daily life. There are different ways to describe the reason or purpose of a hairbrush, as shown in the two examples below:

• I use a hairbrush to comb my hair.
• A hairbrush is used for combing hair.

Key Takeaways

  • Gerund is formed by adding “ing” to a verb and functions as a noun. For example, “combing” is a gerund in the sentence “A hairbrush is used for combing hair.”
  • Infinitive is formed by adding “to” before a verb and can function as a noun, adjective, or adverb. For example, “to help” is an infinitive in the sentence “To help poor people is a virtue desired in the rich people of the world.”
  • While both gerunds and infinitives can be objects and subjects of sentences, infinitives cannot be objects of prepositions. Additionally, using a gerund or infinitive can change the meaning of a sentence.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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