: Business Grammar Builder. : (.. .. )


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Unit 20 verbs + -ing or infinitive 2


 Verb + -ing or infinitive: change in meaning A


 Some verbs can be followed by -ing or to + infinitive and the meaning of the verb changes.


 REMEMBER AND FORGET We use remember/forget doing for memories of the past (the action happens before the remembering). We use remember/forget to do for actions someone is/was supposed to do (the remembering happens before the action).

I definitely remember posting the letter. post remember

I must remember to post the letter. remember post

Ill never forget flying into Taipei airport. flying forget

Sorry, I forgot to turn off the lights. forget turn off


 REGRET We use regret doing when we are sorry about something that happened in the past.

I regret saying no to the job in Paris.

We use regret to inform/to tell when we are giving bad news.

I regret to inform you that we are unable to ...


 TRY We use try doing when we do something and see what happens.

We use try to do when we make an effort to do something, but dont necessarily succeed.

Ill try talking to him and maybe hell change his mind. (Ill do it and see what happens)

Ill try to talk to him but I know hes very busy today. (I may not be successful)

Last September, Breuer tried to negotiate a cost-cutting merger of

Deutsches and Dresdners retail operations. However, he was unsuccessful.


 STOP We use stop doing when we end an action. We use stop to do

when we give the reason for stopping.

We stopped buying from that supplier. (now we dont buy from them) I stopped to buy something for my wife. (I stopped in order to buy something)


 MEAN We use mean doing when one thing results in or involves another.

We use mean to do to express an intention.

Globalisation means being active in every major market. (= involves)

I meant to phone you, but I forgot. (= intended)


 GO ON We use go on doing when we continue doing something. We use

go on to do when we move on to do something else.

They went on trading even though they were nearly bankrupt.

(= did the same thing)

After leaving IBM he went on to start his own company.

(= did something else)


 Verbs of perception B


 Verbs of perception include: feel, hear, listen to, notice, see, watch. These verbs can be followed by an object + -ing or a bare infinitive (without to) and the meaning of the verb changes.


 If we see or hear only part of the action, or it continues, we use the -ing form. If we see or hear the whole action from beginning to end, we use the bare infinitive without to. Compare:


I saw her giving her presentation. I saw her give her presentation.

I heard the machine making a strange noise.

I heard the machine make a strange noise.


(I saw part of the presentation) (I saw the whole presentation)

(I heard the noise and it continued) (I heard the noise and it stopped)


 Verb + -ing or infinitive: little change in meaning C


 Some verbs can be followed by -ing or to + infinitive and there is little change in meaning. These include: begin, continue, intend, start.

What do you intend doing/to do about it?

In the second quarter, when the market began to go down, we began selling, dropping our equity position in the fund to around 70\% and holding the remainder in cash. This way, I was able to minimize the impact of the downturn.


The number of German jobless continued to fall in February.


 We do not usually have two -ing forms together.

It was starting to get dark. (NOT starting getting)



I picked up most of the rubbish that was on the floor.

(= lift up)

The business community is again starting to pay very close attention to the

countrys economic health.


 The verbs like, love, prefer, hate can be followed by either form. To + infinitive suggests something is a good/bad idea. The -ing form shows your feelings.

I like to do my tax returns early; but I dont like doing them.


When we use the modal would with these verbs we must use to + infinitive.

Id prefer to do it myself, if you dont mind.


Like followed by to + infinitive can mean that we do something because we think it is a good idea, even though we dont enjoy it.

I like to write several drafts before I write the final report.


 Passive forms: -ing or infinitive D


 The passive form of verb + -ing is verb + being + past participle.

If the share price falls any more we risk being taken over by a larger company.


 The passive form of verb + t + infinitive is verb + to be + past participle.

I think I deserve to be given a pay rise.



Where did he pick up that strange accent?

(= acquire without effort over a period of time)




Exercise 1 (A)

Underline the correct words.


1 Im sorry I forgot to call / calling you, but I was really busy.

2 I stopped in Paris for a few days to meet / meeting Henri.

3 Weve stopped to meet / meeting so often. It was a waste of time.

4 Learning a language means to be / being interested in the culture as well.

5 I meant to make / making some more photocopies, but I didnt have time.

6 Please remember to speak / speaking to Josie when you see her.

7 I dont remember to say / saying anything like that.

8 I tried to open / opening the window, but it was too high to reach.

9 I tried to open / opening the window, but it was still too hot in the room.

10 Ill never forget to give / giving my first presentation to the Board.

11 Dont forget to look at / looking at the audience when you speak.

12 We regret t announce / announcing the death of our founder, Mr Obuchi.

13 I regret to quit / quitting my MBA course.

14 The new product is doing really well. I think we should go on to sell / selling it for another six m least.

15 First Ill say a little about the history of the company, then Ill go on to describe / describing range of products.


Exercise 2 (D unit 19)

Complete the sentences with being or to be.


1 I enjoy .. taken out for expensive meals.

2 The Minister denied .. given a bribe.

3 The Minister refused .. questioned about the bribe.

4 I expect .. asked some tough questions after my presentation.

5 Do you mind .. picked up at the airport by a taxi?

6 How awful! Imagine .. asked to give a presentation on a topic like



Business was bad at the beginning of the year but it's picking up now.

(= improve)

Exercise 3 (A, C)

Complete the mini-dialogue with the correct form of the verb in brackets. On two occasions both forms are possible.


THOMAS: Hi, Carla. Ive been meaning (1) .. (speaking / to speak) to you all day.

Were trying (2) .. (booking / to book) a table at that new Chinese restaurant tonight. Would you like to come too?

CARLA: Oh, thanks, Id really like to, but I was intending (3) .. (starting/ to

start) work on my monthly sales report tonight.

THOMAS: Really? Wouldnt you prefer (4) .. (coming / to come) out with us?

Just this once?

CARLA: Of course I want (5) .. (going / to go) out with you tonight, but I really have to get this report done. Im sorry it means (6) .. (missing / to

miss) dinner with you guys tonight.

THOMAS: Well, perhaps next time then.

CARLA: Yeah. And next time dont forget (7) .. (giving / to give) me as much notice as possible beforehand so I can keep the evening free.

THOMAS: Oh, the trouble with you, Carla, is that you never stop (8) .. (working / to work). You should remember (9) .. (having / to have) some fun sometimes.

CARLA: Look, Thomas, you know Id really love (10) .. (joining / to join) you.

but I just

THOMAS: Well, if you go on (11) .. (working / to work) like you do at the moment, youll start (12) .. (getting / to get) really stressed, and then youll regret (13) .. (missing out / to miss out) on your social life. It happened to friend of mine in the end he went on (14) ... (having / to have) a nervous breakdown.

CARLA: Oh, come on. Stop (15) .. (being / to be) so dramatic I dont enjoy (16) .. (taking / to take) work home, its just that I like (17) .. (finishing / to finish) my reports on time.



The draught was so strong that it blew out the candle.

(= blow so that it stops burning)

Exercise 4 (A unit19)

Complete this letter by putting the verbs in brackets into the correct form, -ing or to

+ infinitive.


Dear Audio World

I am writing to complain about the poor service that I received when I was in your store last week. Recently you decided (l) .. (remove) listening facilities in your stores, and your sales staff encouraged customers (2) .. (take) home their choice of CDs without (3) .. (hear) them first. You invited us (4) .. (return) any CDs that we did not like, as long as we kept the receipt as proof of

purchase. In my opinion this was an excellent policy as it allowed customers (5)

.. (risk) (6) .. (buy) things that were a little different.

A consequence of your policy is that customers will buy more CDs, and this means (7) .. (return) more that they dont like. In fact last week I brought

back eight CDs, from the fourteen I had bought on the previous visit Your salesman refused (8) .. (accept) such a large number, and accused me of

(9) .. (take) the CDs home just (10) .. (copy) them. I strongly objected to

(11) .. (be) treated like this as I had remembered (12) .. (bring) the receipts with me and my actions were within the terms of your guarantee.

I cant help (13) .. (think) that you will lose a lot of business if your staff go on (14) .. (behave) in this way, and I advise you (15) .. (train) your staff (16) .. (deal) with customers in a more polite manner.


Yours sincerely

Ian Carr



She decided to carry on working.

(= continue)

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