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.
- 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.