Hello, fellas. How is your first day in November? Let’s start this session with a question. Which one is correct: Lionel Messi began playing football since his childhood or Lionel Messi began to play football since his childhood?
Today we are going to discuss verbs and their objects, especially gerunds and infinitives. According to Betty Schrampfer Azar, some verbs can come before gerunds or infinitives. However, the meaning can be similar or different.
1) No difference in meaning
begin, like, hate, start, love, can’t stand, continue, prefer, and can’t bear
She began writing a book.
She began to write a book.
The two sentences carry no difference in their meaning. A gerund is usually used if the main verb is progressive, e.g.: She was beginning to write a book.
prefer + gerund: I prefer watching a movie to reading a book.
prefer + infinitives: I prefer to watch a movie than (to) read a book.
2) A difference in meaning
remember, forget, regret, and try
remember + gerund: remember or recall something that took place in the past
e.g.: He remembers going to the beach.
remember + infinitive: remember to perform responsibility, duty, or task
e.g.: He remembers to open the window.
forget + gerund: forget something that took place in the past
e.g.: They forget playing football together.
forget + infinitive: forget to perform responsibility, duty, or task
e.g.: They forget to pay the bills.
regret + gerund: regret something that took place in the past
e.g.: We regret watching the movie.
regret + infinitive: regret to say, to tell or inform someone of some bad news
e.g.: We regret to tell him about his failure.
try + gerund: experiment with a new or different approach to see if it works
e.g.: I try accessing the computer file.
try + infinitive: make an effort
e.g.: I try to understand trigonometry.
Betty Schrampfer Azar, Understanding and Using English Grammar: Third Edition