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-ing forms as subjects, objects etc

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-ing forms as subjects, objects etc

We can use -ing forms as subjects, objects or complements.
Smoking is bad for you. (subject)
1 hate packing. (object)
My favourite activity is reading. (complement)
An -ing form can have its own object.
Smoking cigarettes is bad for you.
I hate packing suitcases.
My favourite activity is reading poetry.
1 Complete the sentences with -ing forms of the given verbs.
answer climb drink forget hear learn lie pay say ski type watch
1 too much alcohol is very bad for you.
2 I don't like bills.
3 He really enjoys his own voice.
4 What's wrong with in bed all day?
5 Her favourite sports are and mountains.
6 languages is hard work.
7 I hate goodbye.
8 is better than remembering.
9 animals can teach you a lot.
10 'What's your job?'' the phone and letters.'

We can use a determiner (e.g. the, this, my) or a possessive 's before an -fig form.
the rebuilding of the cathedral Do you mind my smoking?
I don't like his borrowing my things without asking.
What's all this shouting?
John's leaving home upset everybody.
Object forms are possible instead of possessives, especially after a verb or preposition. They are less formal.
I don't like him borrowing my things without asking.
She was upset about John leaving home.

2. Make these sentences less formal.
1.Do you mind my asking you a question?
2. I do not appreciate your shouting at me.
3. I could not understand Pat's wanting to pay for everybody.
4. What is the use of their asking all these questions?
5. The delay was caused by Peter's needing to see a doctor.
6. I was astonished at your expecting us to give you a room.
7. The holiday was ruined by Ann's having to go home early.
8. She cannot stand my telling her what to do.

No often used with an -ing form to say that something is not allowed.

Preposition + - ing

We use – ing forms after prepositions: You can only live for a few days without drinking.

conjunctions with -ing forms

Some conjunctions can introduce clauses made with -ing forms. This is common with after, before, when, while and since.
After talking to you I felt better.
Look in the mirror before driving off.

1 Put in a suitable conjunction.
1 I usually have a snack____going to bed.
2 He had a heart attack____watching a video.
3 ____spending all that money on CDs I'd better not buy anything else.
4 Use damp string____tying up parcels; when it dries it shrinks and gets tight.
5 How many jobs have you had____leaving school?
6 We went for a walk____leaving for the airport.
7 Put this on____shaving and you'll smell wonderful.
8 I haven't heard anything from her____getting that letter last month.
9 I often listen to music____working.
10 Always wear goggles____working with metal.

2 Put the sentences together, using conjunction + ...ing.
Don't go swimming before (talk) to Eric.
Have a rest every hour or so before (go) on stage.
He has been terribly depressed he began to feel ill.
I had a word with Janet immediately after (eat).
I often solve problems in my head since (fail) the exam.
She always gets nervous we haven't even had time to unpack
Since (come) back from America when (drive) long distances.
A few days after (return) from holiday while (run).

A few conjunctions (e.g. until, when, if) can be used with past participles.
Leave in oven until cooked.
When questioned, he denied everything.
I can usually remember names and faces if given enough time.

preposition + -ing: special cases
We use by ...ing to say how - by what method or means - we do something.
We use for ...ing to give the purpose of something - to say what it is used for.
On doing something (formal) means 'when / as soon as you do something'.

You can find out somebody's phone number by looking in the directory.
He made his money by buying and selling houses.
I've bought some special glue for mending broken glass.
What's that funny knife for?' Opening letters.'
On hearing the fire alarm, go straight to the nearest exit.
On arriving at the office, she noticed that her secretary was absent.

1. Find the answers in the box; write them with by ...ing.
look in a dictionary oil it play loud music rob a bank
stroke it switch on the ignition take an aspirin
use an extinguisher
1. How do you make a cat happy? ---- By stroking it.
2. How can you annoy your neighbours?
3. How can you get money fast?
4. How do you stop a door squeaking?
5. How do you find out what a word means?
6. How can you cure a headache?
7. How can you put a fire out?
8. How do you start a car?

to ...ing
The preposition to is followed by an -ing form.
I look forward to your letter I to hearing from you. (To is a preposition used after look forward - it can be followed by a noun or an -ing form.)
Compare: / hope to hear from you. (To is part of the infinitive after hope, not a preposition - it couldn't be followed by a noun.)
Other expressions followed by to ...ing: be/get used to, object to.
If you come to England you '11 soon get used to driving on the left.
I object to people trying to sell me things over the telephone.

1. Choose the best explanation of each expression.
1. I look forward to seeing you.
A. It gives me pleasure to think that I will see you.
B. I know I will see you.
C. I hope I will see you.
2. I'm used to driving in London.
A. I drive in London regularly.
B. In the past, I drove in London regularly.
C. I have driven in London so often that it seems easy and natural.
3. I object to paying good money for badly made products.
A. This often happens to me.
B. I am not pleased when this happens.
C. I try to stop this happening.

2 Here are some sentences taken from real conversations. Can you put together the beginnings and ends, using to ...ing?
Aren't you used (walk) back to school.
Starting at half four's no problem - difficult kids.
I look forward (receive) I'm not used (come) this way.
I look forward (see) you again I'm used (get up) early.
I object (pay) for it. in six months' time.
I'll never get used (sleep) It should be free.
I'm not looking forward (go) it's hard to be without it.
I'm not sure where to turn. on the floor.
If you're used (have) money, this far?
Sean's used (deal) with your comments.
verb + infinitive or -ing form
Some verbs are followed by the infinitives of other verbs. Example: want.
Some verbs are followed by the -ing forms of other verbs. Example: enjoy.

1. Do you know which verbs are followed by infinitives and which are followed by -ing forms? Make two lists.

agree avoid can't help dare decide deny expect (can't) face fail fancy feel like finish give up happen hope imagine keep (on) manage mean mind miss offer postpone practise prepare pretend promise put off refuse risk seem spend time (can't) stand suggest wish

2. Put in the correct forms of the verbs.
1 You can't help (like) him.
2 We decided (stay) at home.
3 We expect (hear) from Ann soon.
4 Do you fancy (go) out tonight?
5 I don't feel like (cook).
6 When do you finish (study)?
7 I've given up (smoke).
8 Imagine (be) married to her!
9 I managed (find) a taxi.
10 Would you mind (pass) the bread?
11 I missed (see) the beginning of the film.
12 She pretended (be) ill.
13 Don't put off (see) the doctor.
14 He spends ages (talk) on the phone.
15 I want (see) the manager.
16 Do you enjoy (watch) football?

Some verbs are followed by preposition + ...ing. I'm thinking of changing my job. (NOT I'm thinking to change my job.)

go …. ing
We often use go … ing to talk about sporting and leisure activities:

Let’s go climbing next week.
Did you go dancing last Saturday?

need …. ing
It needs doing means “I needs to be done”.
The car needs washing (= needs to be washed)
My shoes need mending.

verb + object + infinitive (=Complex Object)

Some verbs can be followed by object + infinitive. Examples: want, prefer.
He wants me to wash his socks. (NOT He wants that I wash his socks.) I would prefer you to pay now.
Other verbs that can be followed by object + infinitive:
advise allow ask can't bear cause encourage expect forbid force get help invite leave mean need order persuade remind teach tell warn

1 Change the sentences.
Example: I told John 'I think you should stop smoking', (advise) --- I advised John to stop smoking.
1 They said we couldn't look at the house, (didn't allow)
2 I said to Jake. 'Please be more careful.' (ask)
3 She said to me, 'Do try the exam.' (encourage)
4 I think he'll come soon, (expect)
5 I went away, so he had to solve the problem. (I left...)
6 Was it your idea that I should pay? (Did you mean ...)
7 The captain told the men, 'Attack!' (order)
8 'Don't forget to buy coffee,' I told Sue. (remind)
9 She gave me lessons in cooking, (teach)
10 She mustn't tell anybody. ( I don't want...)
2 Complete one or more of these sentences.
1 My parents want(ed) me to____
2 My parents don't/didn't want me to____
3 I would like my children to____

Let and make are followed by object + infinitive without to.
Don't let me forget to phone ]ill. You make me laugh.
Passive structures with make have the infinitive with to. He was made to apologise.

3 Let or make? Make sentences beginning: Her parents let her... or Her parents made her...
1 stay up late 6 drink beer
2 do the washing up 7 clean up her room
3 read what she liked 8 go to church
4 iron her own clothes 9 have parties
5 do her homework 10 choose her own school

-ing form and infinitive both possible
Some verbs can be followed by both -ing forms and infinitives. There are often important differences of meaning.

1 Remember, forget and regret. Look at the examples. Which structure is used to talk about things people did, and which is used to talk about things people are/were supposed to do?
I still remember buying my first bicycle.
Remember to lock the garage door tonight.
I'll never forget meeting the President.
I forgot to buy the soap.
I regret leaving school at fourteen: it was a big mistake.
We regret to say that we are unable to help you.

2 Goon. Look at the examples. Which structure is used for a change to a new activity, and which is used for continuation of an activity?
She went on talking about her illness for hours.
Then she went on to talk about her other problems.

3 Allow and permit. When do we use an -ing form and when do we use an infinitive?
We don't allow/permit smoking.
We don't allow/permit people to smoke.

4 Stop. One structure says that an activity stops; the other gives the reason for stopping. Which is which?
I've stopped smoking!
I stopped for a few minutes to rest.

5 Like, love, hate and prefer. Both structures can be used except -when?
Do you like dancing / to dance? Would you like to dance?
I don't get up on Sundays. I prefer staying / to stay in bed.
'Can I give you a lift?' 'No, thanks. I'd prefer to walk.'

6 Try can be used to talk about trying something difficult, or about trying an experiment (to see if something works). Which structure(s) is/are used for each meaning?
He tried sending her flowers and writing her letters, but it had no effect.
I tried to change / changing the wheel, but my hands were too cold.

7 See, hear, watch and feel. These can be followed by object + infinitive without to or object + -ingform. One is used to talk about an action going on, the other about a completed action. Which is which?

I saw her pick up the parcel, open it and take out a book.
I last saw him walking down the road towards the shops.
I heard her play Bach's A Minor concerto on the radio last night.
As we passed his house we heard him practising the violin.

8 Choose the correct verb forms. (If two answers are possible, put both.)

1 Do you remember (meet) her last year?
2 Sorry -1 forgot (post) your fetters.
3 I regret (not visit) her when she was ill.
4 We discussed the budget and then went on (talk) about sales.
5 Do you want to go on (learn) English?
6 He doesn't allow us (make) personal phone calls.
7. The hospital only allows (visit) at weekends.
8 I like (watch) TV in the evenings.
9 Would you like (spend) the weekend with us?
10 Thanks - I'd love (come).
11 If nothing else works, try (read) the instructions.
12 I'll try (repair) your car tomorrow.
13 I saw John (wait) for a bus as I came home.
14 I heard you (break) something - what was it?
15 I can feel something (crawl) up my leg.
16 We'll have to stop (get) petrol.
17 He stopped (work) when he was sixty-five.
18 I regret (tell) you that you have failed your examination.

After some verbs (e.g. begin, can't bear, continue, intend, propose, start), both ing forms and infinitives are possible without much difference of meaning.
I began playing I to play the piano when I was six.
We must continue looking I to look for a new house.

adjective + infinitive or -ing form
Many adjectives can be followed by infinitives. This is common when we are talking about feelings and reactions.
She was very pleased to see me. I'm sorry to disturb you.

1. Thirteen of the adjectives in the box can be used in the sentence I was ... to see her. Which five cannot?
Example: I was afraid to see her.

afraid anxious certain fine glad happy intelligent lazy likely lucky ready right shocked surprised unusual well willing wrong

Some other adjectives are followed by preposition + -ing form.

2 Choose the right prepositions and make sensible sentences.
Example: I'm annoyed at/about having to work tonight.
I'm annoyed about studying.
bad at breaking the speed limit.
bored of listening to the children.
capable with going for a long time without sleep.
excited seeing my family next weekend.
fed up having to work tonight.
fond getting up early.
good seeing the same faces every day.
guilty repairing cars.
tired dancing.
noun + infinitive or -ing form

Some nouns can be followed by infinitives: others can be followed by preposition + ...ing.
You were a fool to agree. She has a terrible fear of being alone.

I Are these nouns normally followed by infinitives or by preposition + ...ing?
Make two lists.
decision difficulty hope idea need plan thought time wish

2 Choose the correct way of completing each sentence.
1. Has she told you about her decision (to go / of going?)
2 I have difficulty (to read / in reading) quickly.
3 We have no hope (to arrive / of arriving) in time.
4 I hate the idea (to leave / of leaving) you.
5 Is there any need (to tell / of telling) Peter?
6 She has a plan (to spend / of spending) three years studying.
7 I won't get married: I dislike the thought (to lose / of losing) my freedom. !
8 It's time (to go /for going) home.
9 I have no wish (to meet / of meeting) him again.

2 Join the beginnings and ends. Put in prepositions where necessary. Example: Who had the idea of moving to Berlin?
Has he got any hope (pass) (buy) that car.
He made a decision (start) (get) angry.
Does your fear (fly) (get) up!
Lucy has difficulty (keep) her temper.
She hated the thought (die) (move) to Berlin?
She was a fool the exam?
There's no need (start) a business.
They have a plan a new life.
Time stop you travelling?
Who had the idea without seeing the world.
for... to ... after adjective/noun
After an adjective or a noun, if an infinitive needs its own subject this is introduced by for. Compare:
Ann will be happy to help you.
Ann will be happy for the children to help you.
My idea was to learn Russian.
My idea was for her to learn Russian.
This structure is common after adjectives and nouns when we are talking about possibility, necessity, importance and frequency.
1 Rewrite these sentences using the structure with for... to ... Example: She can't come. - It's impossible for her to come.
1 The meeting needn't start before eight. (There's no need for the...)
2 The postman ought to come. (It's time for...)
3 He's not usually late. (It's unusual for...)
4 I want the children to go to a good school. (I'm anxious for...)
5 John shouldn't go to Australia. (It's a bad idea...)
6 Sue shouldn't change her job just now. (It would be a mistake...)
7 Can Paul come to the meeting? (Is it possible...?)
8 The car really should have regular services. (It's important...)
9 He normally stays up late on Saturdays. (It's normal...)
10 I'd be happy if you took a holiday. (I'd be happy for...)

We can use for with the infinitive of there is -for there to be.
It's important for there to be enough jobs for everybody.
2. Imagine you are planning a new town. Rewrite the following sentences using for there to be.
1 It's important that there should be public libraries.
2 It's vital that there should be a good public transport system.
3 It's important that there should be plenty of open spaces.
4 It's essential that there should be enough car parks.
Now write five more sentences about the town using/or there to be.
After some adjectives we can use an infinitive to mean “for people to…”

She’s easy to amuse (= She’s easy for people to amuse).
Just open the packet, and it’s ready to eat.


Коротюк А.А., вчитель англ.мови, КЗ "Технiчний лiцей iм. А. Лигуна", м. Кам'янське, обл. Днiпропетровська

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