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Gerund and Infinitive (Revision): Key to the Task



1.   Peter keeps asking me the time and I keep him to buy himself a watch.
2.   Did you enjoy watching the game of football?
3.   I am looking forward to seeing this film.
4.   Would you like to see the pictures I took at the party? 
5.   Mr Williams has offered to teach me French.
6.   Are you not used to getting up* so early?
7.   After trying in vain for about an hour I managed to solve the mathematical problem.
8.    Do you happen to know the M.P. for Colchester?
9.    Peggy could not stop admiring her diamond engagement ring.
10.  Can you imagine living in the country?
11.    Why didn't you let the child sleep ?
12.    Our teacher makes us work very hard.**
13.    Do you expect to meet your friend Max at the party?
14.    Do you wish to buy a new car?
15.    I suggest listening to the news.
16.    I want you to read this book.***
17.    I want Peter to come home before midnight.
18.    I should love to spend my summer holiday in Italy. 
19.    Miss Ferguson forgot to watch her favourite programme on TV.
20.    The Dixons have learnt to do a lot themselves.
21.    When John was young, he did not like  working in the garden.
22.    When did it begin to rain?****
23.    Have you tried to explain the problem to Jane and Barbara?
24.    Peter has begun to pull out weeds in the garden.*****
25.    What's wrong with spending one’s holiday abroad?   
26.    Who has suggested buying this car? 
27.    I want good paper to write on on.
28.    We want a big flat in town to live in. (live) 
29.    I have got used to reading the newspaper daily.*
30.    The children seemed to understand the question. 
31.    The Barkers cannot imagine living in Spain. 
32.    Susan's bicycle needs repairing.******

·     * Sentences 6 and, 29: The gerund (or –ing form) must be used here because to belongs to the phrase used to and is a genuine preposition in this sentence, not the introduction to an infinitive.

·       ** Sentence 12: Or: Our teacher lets us work very hard. This answer is also right although there is a tradition among German and especially Swiss teachers of English to insist on the verb to make when the meaning is to order and compel somebody to do something. But English  let is ambiguous like German lassen and may mean either to allow or to compel. The actual meaning usually becomes clear in the context.

·       ***  Sentences 16 and 17: to want and to wish must be followed by a construction with object and infinitive. A that-clause, like in German and French and many other European languages, is impossible in English.

·       **** Sentence 22: When an action is involuntary or not controllable, the infinitive should be preferred.

·       ***** Sentences 24: to pull is better because we refer to a single action or a single, concrete set of actions. pulling is acceptable though it would normally be under­stood to refer to a general change of behaviour, to a new principle.

·       ****** needs to be repaired would be an alternative construction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        © BY R.WYSS