Verb + -ing

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Verb + -ing
enjoy doing / stop doing etc.

A. Look at these examples:

  • I enjoy dancing, (not 'I enjoy to dance')
  • Would you mind closing the door? (not 'mind to close')
  • Ian suggested going to the cinema, (not 'suggested to go')

After enjoy, mind and suggest, we use -ing (not to...).

Here are some more verbs that are followed by -ing:
stop    delay        fancy        consider    admit        miss        involve        finish    postpone        imagine        avoid           deny         risk             practise

  • Suddenly everybody stopped talking. There was silence.
  • I'll do the shopping when I've finished cleaning the flat.
  • He tried to avoid answering my question.
  • I don't fancy going out this evening.
  • Have you ever considered going to live in another country? 
Note the negative form not -ing:
  • When I'm on holiday, I enjoy not having to get up early.

B. We also use -ing after:

give up (= stop)
put off (= postpone)
carry on / go on (= continue)
keep or keep on (= do something continuously or repeatedly)

  • Paula has given up smoking.
  • We must do something. We can't go on living like this! (or ...carry on living...)
  • Don't keep interrupting me while I'm speaking, (or Don't keep on interrupting...)

C. With some verbs you can use the structure verb + somebody + -ing:

  • I can't imagine George riding a motorbike.
  • You can't stop me doing what I want.
  • 'Sorry to keep you waiting so long.'  'That's all right.'

Note the passive form (being done/seen/kept etc.):

  • I don't mind being kept waiting. (= I don't mind people keeping me...)

D. When you are talking about finished actions, you can say having done/stolen/said etc.:

  • She admitted having stolen the money.

But it is not necessary to use having (done). You can also use the simple -ing form for finished actions:

  • She admitted stealing the money.
  • I now regret saying (or having said) what I said.

E. After some of the verbs on this page (especially admit/deny/suggest) you can use that...:

  • She denied that she had stolen the money, (or She denied stealing...)
  • Ian suggested that we went to the cinema, (or Ian suggested going.'..).



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