Curso Avanzado de Inglés de Negocios



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Grammar: Gerund and Infinitive



In English, several verbs are followed by the gerund. Some of these verbs are given in the following list:


avoid, consider, delay, enjoy, finish, postpone, propose, risk, stop, suggest.


The department head proposed organising a meeting for all staff members.
This job involves analysing our sales figures since year 2000.

The gerund can be the subject of a sentence:


In the US, getting into commercials is often a sign a career is on the way down.
Developing new products will be our main objective next year.

The gerund must be used immediately after prepositions:


after, before, by, when, while, without


They launched the product without doing the necessary research.

The gerund must also be used after verbs and expressions followed by prepositions:


to be interested in, to be good at, to be fond of, to be for/against,
to be used to
, instead of, to feel like, to think of/about,
to look forward to
, to succeed in, to approve of, to insist on, to object to.


-  Mr. Rosen is used to travelling abroad.
We're looking forward to meeting the new sales manager.
-  He feels like selling his old company.

Note that we also use the gerund after the following expressions:


it's no use, it's no good, it's not worth, to have difficulty.


It's no use trying to phone him. He's on holiday.



In English, several verbs are followed by the infinitive. Some of these verbs are given in the following list:


afford, agree, choose, decide, forget, help, hope, learn,
manage, offer, plan, promise, refuse, seem, tend, threaten.


Agents for several movie stars refused to comment.
I hope to find a job in marketing.
-  The manager
threatened to sell the company.

The infinitive is used after modals, either with or without to:


have to, ought to, used to


can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would.


We used to sell only software, but we now sell most types of computers.
You should send these letters by fax by the end of the day.




Grammar: Gerund or Infinitive?

Some verbs can be followed by either a gerund or infinitive:


begin, can't bear, continue, hate, like, love, remember, start, stop, try.


Our director hates to be mentioned.
-  Sandra hates working long hours.

Some of these verbs have different meanings depending on whether they are used with the gerund or the infinitive:


to remember + gerund = to remember something done in the past.
to remember +
infinitive = not to forget to do something.
I remember seeing that advertisement in the newspaper last week.
I must remember to cancel the order before one o'clock.


to try + gerund = to do something as an experiment (to see if it is successful).
to try +
infinitive = to make an attempt to do something.
Try asking Sally. She may be able to help you.
I tried to
finish the report but I couldn't.



Grammar: Activity with Answer


Complete the following passage choosing the best alternative (gerund or infinitive) from the menus below.





Coca-Cola's advertising has always attempted    

changing contemporary lifestyles.    an international

campaign requires the talents of professionals in many areas and

extensive testing is always done before    which

advertisements will finally be used.



Ray Charles and Whitney Houston are just two of the big name stars who agreed



  in Coca-Cola commercials.



After    Diet Coke in 1982, the company saw its sales grow quickly



and the drink is the third most popular in the world. In 1985, the company tried



  the secret formula, but realised Americans were very attached to



the original recipe. Today, people in more than 160 countries around the globe



enjoy    Coca-Cola.



John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886 and a long time has gone by since



Robert Woodruff, president of the company in 1923, promised 



Coca-Cola to every soldier in every part of the world during World War II.


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