Fixed Verb Patterns: Gerund, Infinitive or Both?

By David Rose, Director LACS Training Brussels


Link to LACS Training Services


Gerund or Infinitive?


Together with prepositions – the subject of a recent blog post – fixed verb patterns are a common source of frustration for even the most advanced users of English.

I recommend to do it? I recommend doing it? Or both?

I suggest doing it? I suggest to do it?  Or both?

They make up a significant part of the often frequent errors I observe plaguing people’s presentations and documents in my day-to-day training work.

As I’m sure you are aware, these ‘little but frequent’ errors can lower the impact and quality of your professional communication.

Yes, substance is crucial. However, how your audience perceives your delivery of this substance also counts

So, by popular demand, here’s a ‘fat-free’, concrete overview of the main categories with clear maps of high-frequency, work-related verbs:

1) Verb + Infinitive


  • We arranged to review the main principles for you
  • They decided to proceed with their plan

2) Verb + ing


  • We recommend using this as a reference when writing
  • Your visit to Brussels involved meeting a lot of people

3) Verb + preposition + verb + ing

4) Verb + object + preposition + verb + ing

5) Special cases: meaning differs

Added to the four above categories, there’s also a restricted group of verbs that can be follwed by either an infinitive or -ing, but with a difference in meaning:

I hope these give you a clear reference tool to raise your game further 🙂


Does your organisation need training? Contact me at to benefit from my consultancy’s personalised, highly practical and cost-effective communication training services.

Visit to download a full catalogue of our training offer.

We offer made to measure training for:

● Presentations (core skills and advanced techniques)

● Public Speaking (speeches, press conferences, interviews)

● Professional Writing (reports, memos, briefings, minutes)

● Writing for Impact (web, position papers, policy papers)

● Meetings Facilitation/Chairing

© David Rose LACS Training 2012


Filed under 4 English Language Skills

4 responses to “Fixed Verb Patterns: Gerund, Infinitive or Both?

  1. Khaliqur Rahman

    Very useful for learners and teachers as well, particularly ESL teachers.

    • Thanks Khaliqur – and don’t forget to check out some of the other posts relevant for ESL on the blog!
      I’ll be posting more of these ‘maps’ in the future, so I’d suggest subscribing (on the ‘home’ page) to make sure you’re notified immediately.

  2. Language training UK

    I found this post very informative as I am learning English language these days. I need to work hard to improve my grammar. Language learning needs devotion and lots of patience indeed!

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