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Verbs with two forms following after

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

Moderator: Alan

Verbs with two forms following after

Postby SARDORBEK » Mon May 07, 2012 12:11 pm

Hello, dear ALAN!

We know that after the verbs begin, start, commence, intend, bother, propose,
neglect
and a few verbs we can use the infinitive or gerund form of the verb with
no or little difference in meaning. I have seen this rule many times in lots of
English grammar books. For example, in “Advanced grammar in Use” (M.Hewings)
the following rule is given:

The verbs begin, cease, start, and continue can be followed by
either a to-infinitive or an an – ing form with little difference in meaning.

Even though it was raining, they continued to play/playing.

I was given a difficult test by some teacher the other day. I had to choose only one
answer because of the requirement of the test. The question-test is as follows:

His son had to leave school and started … at an office as a clerk.

a) working
b) to work
c) work
d) worked

In this case, do the answers (a) & (b) contradict each other? Does “little difference in
meaning” in the above-mentioned rule apply here? On the whole, what is the significant
difference between the infinitive and gerund when using after these verbs?

I always rely on your answers.
Respectfully,
SardorBEK
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Re: Verbs with two forms following after

Postby Alan » Wed May 09, 2012 5:45 am

Either (a) or (b) would be grammatically acceptable and no, they would not contradict each other.

In general, however, except where the action comes to a sudden/premature halt (apparently not the case here) the gerund is generally preferred, and, for that reason, (a) would be my choice in this case.
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