Category Archives: Grammar for IELTS

Grammar for IELTS Adjective order

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Grammar for IELTS Adjective order

Grammar for IELTS Adjective orderAdjective order is important if you are using more than one adjective before a noun. There is often a specific order in which they must be placed. For example:

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A black leather jacket Correct
A leather black jacket Incorrect

Here is a short acronym to help you remember:

OSASCOMP

opinion – size – age – shape – colour – origin – material – purpose

Below you will find an explanation for each letter and some example sentences.

Adjective Order Rule 1: OSASCOMP – O for opinion

Adjectives that talk about opinions, judgements or attitudes usually come first.

Opinions, judgements or attitudes Noun
a lovely jacket.
a perfect plate.
an expensive bike.

Adjective Order Rule 2: OSASCOMP – S for size

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Adjectives relating to size, length and height come next. For example:

Judgements, opinions or attitudes Size, length, height Noun
a lovely large jacket.
a perfect big plate.
an expensive bike.

 

Adjective Order Rule 3: OSASCOMP – A for age

Next are any adjectives relating to age

Judgements, opinions or attitudes Size, length, height Age Noun
a lovely large new jacket.
a perfect big old plate.
an expensive modern bike.

Adjective Order Rule #4: OSASCOMP – S for shape

Judgements, opinions or attitudes Size, length, height Age Shape Noun
a lovely large new jacket.
a perfect big old round plate.
an expensive modern bike.

Adjective Order Rule #5: OSASCOMP – C for colour

Next are the adjectives that talk about colour.

Judgements, opinions or attitudes Size, length, height Age Shape Colour Noun
a lovely large new black jacket.
a perfect big old round white plate.
an expensive modern red bike.

 

Adjective Order Rule #6: OSASCOMP – O for origin

This refers to adjectives that say where the noun is from.

Judgements, opinions or attitudes Size, length, height Age Shape Colour Origin Noun
a lovely large new black jacket.
a perfect big old round white Chinese plate.
an expensive modern red Italian bike.

Adjective Order Rule #7: OSASCOMP – M for material

This refers to what the noun is made of.

Judgements, opinions or attitudes Size, length, height Age Shape Colour Origin Material Noun
a lovely large new black leather jacket.
a perfect big old round white Chinese porcelain plate.
an expensive modern red Italian bike.

 

Adjective Order Rule #8: OSASCOMP – P for purpose

This refers to what the noun is used for (e.g. wedding ring). They are often nouns used as adjectives.

Judgements, opinions or attitudes Size, length, height Age Shape Colour Origin Material Purpose Noun
a lovely large new black leather jacket.
a perfect big old round white Chinese porcelain dinner plate.
an expensive modern red Italian sports bike.

Important notes:

1. The adjectives used in the tables above are examples only. It is uncommon in English to use more than three adjectives in the same sentence to describe a noun.

2. Some adjectives can be found in different positions, but if you follow the OSASCOMP rule you won’t be wrong!

Click here to try the adjective order exercises.

Passive voice exercises

Passive voice exercises

passive voice exercisesHave you read the information page on the passive voice? Click here to read it before you try the passive voice exercises.

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Complete the passive voice exercises below to test your knowledge.

Passive voice exercises practice

Complete the passive voice exercises by changing the active sentences to the passive voice form.

1. They sell magazines in the mall.

click here to see the answer
Magazines are sold in the mall. Note: ‘by them’ is not necessary – the key point is where the magazines are sold (in the mall).

 

2. The chef bakes all bread on the premises.

click here to see the answer
All bread is baked on the premises. Note: ‘by the chef’ is not necessary (it is obvious) – the key point is that bread is made on the premises.

 

3. The garage is fixing my car at the moment.

click here to see the answer
My car is being fixed by the garage at the moment. Note: ‘by the garage’ could be left out – the key point is probably that the car is not available at the moment.

 

4. Someone has handed in my lost wallet.

click here to see the answer
My lost wallet has been handed in. Note: ‘by someone’ is not necessary – the key point is that the wallet has been handed in.

 

5. The teacher has graded all of our assignments.

click here to see the answer
All of our assignments have been graded by the teacher. Note: ‘by the teacher’ could be left out – it is obvious and the key point is that the assignments have been graded.

 

6. The local newspaper reported the story

click here to see the answer
The story was reported by the local newspaper. Note: ‘by the local newspaper’ adds specific information about which newspaper reported the story.

 

7. The truck damaged my car in the accident.

click here to see the answer
My car was damaged by the truck in the accident. Note: ‘by the truck’ adds specific information about which vehicle damaged the car – it could be left out if the speaker is mainly concerned about the damaged car and not what caused the damage.

 

8. His auntie was looking after him while his parents were away.

click here to see the answer
He was being looked after by his auntie while his parents were away. Note: ‘by his auntie’ adds specific information about who looked after him.

 

9.  They had already sold all the tickets when I tried to buy some.

click here to see the answer
All the tickets had already been sold when I tried to buy some. Note: ‘by them’ is not necessary – the key point is the fact that there were no tickets left.

 

10. They will make a decision tomorrow.

click here to see the answer
A decision will be made tomorrow. Note: ‘by them’ is not necessary – the key point is the fact that a decision will be made.

 

11. They are going to make four people redundant.

click here to see the answer
Four people are going to be made redundant. Note: ‘by them’ is not necessary – the key point is the fact that four people are going to lose their jobs.

 

12. They will have finished all the work by the time we get there.

click here to see the answer
All the work will have been finished by the time we get there. Note: ‘by them’ is not necessary – the key point is the fact that all the work will have been finished.

 

 

 

Passive voice

Passive voice

passive_voiceThe passive voice is a grammar form that can be used instead of writing active sentences.

Before we look at the passive voice, think about how you form an active sentence.

The easiest rule to help you build a simple active sentence is to use the Subject-Verb-Object formula. For example:

John makes boots.

In this sentence, there are 3 parts – the subject (John), the verb (makes), and the object (boots).

In a basic sentence*:

  • the subject is the person who does the action
  • the verb is the action
  • the object is the receiver of the action

* This is a simple explanation, but like most languages, there are exceptions and other rules you need to consider.

In the passive voice, the order of the sentence changes. For example:

Sentence Structure Type
John has finished the painting. S-V-O This is an active sentence
The painting has been finished. O-V This is a passive sentence

There are two important points to note:

1. In a passive voice sentence, the form of the grammar changes and must always include a form of the auxiliary verb be. In the example above, see how ‘has finished’ changes to ‘has been finished’

2. The subject of an active sentence can be completely left out of a passive voice sentence (or can added at the end of the sentence with ‘by’ – The painting has been finished by John). In a passive sentence, the traditional ‘subject’ is often referred to as the ‘agent’. For example:

John has finished the painting => John is the subject in an active sentence

The painting has been finished by John => John is the agent in a passive sentence.

When / why do we use the passive voice?

There are four common reasons for using a passive voice sentence rather than an active sentence.

Use Example Explanation
1. When we don’t know the subject My car has been stolen We don’t know the thief
2. When the subject is obvious Taxes will be raised It must be the government
3. We want to avoid stating the agent The window was broken I don’t want to say who broke it
4. When we want to bring the important information to the front of the sentence The criminal was seen by the security guard. We are most interested in the criminal – not the security guard

All passive voice structures use a form of the verb ‘to be’. See the table below for more detail:

Form Active Passive
Present simple They make toys in that factory. Toys are made in that factory.
Present continuous He is repairing the computer. The computer is being repaired.
Past simple The lesson bored the students. The students were bored by the lesson.
Past continuous He was driving the car very badly. The car was being driven very badly.
Present perfect Someone has stolen my car! My car has been stolen!
Future simple (will) I will finish the project next month. The project will be finished next month..
Future with ‘going to’ They are going to sell the old factory. The old factory is going to be sold.
Future perfect They will have eaten all the food before we get there! All of the food will have been eaten before we get there!
Past perfect They had already eaten most of the food when we got there. Most of the food had already been eaten when we got there.

Note that intransitive verbs are not generally used in the passive voice.

Click here to try the passive voice exercises.

The subjunctive

The subjunctive

subjunctiveThe subjunctive is a grammar form that has no plural form or past form. It is generally used when something is considered important or desirable. It is part of a highly formal style of English often referred to as ‘The Queen’s English’.

For example:

  • It is essential that every child have educational opportunities.
  • It has been suggested that the company invest in new machinery.
  • The judge recommended that the prisoner stay in prison for at least 10 years.

Note that ‘do’ is not used in the negative form:

  • It is essential that every child not have to pay for educational opportunities.
  • It has been suggested that the company not invest in new machinery until next year.
  • The judge recommended that the prisoner not stay in prison any longer

 

The verb be is slightly different to other verbs in the subjunctive, because there is a different past tense form.

  • It is important that both parties be available to sign the documents
  • I wish it were the weekend!

There are also some fixed phrases that use the subjunctive form:

  • God save the the Queen (not saves)
  • Long live the King! (not lives)
  • God bless us all (not blesses)
  • Be that as it may…

Dependent prepositions exercises

Dependent prepositions exercises

dependent prepositions exercisesHave you read the information page on dependent prepositions? Click here to read it before you try the dependent prepositions exercises.

Remember to register to get email updates.

Complete the dependent prepositions exercises below to test your knowledge.

Dependent prepositions exercises practice – verbs

Complete the dependent prepositions exercises by choosing the correct option (a) or (b) to complete each of the sentences.

1. Visitors are asked to abstain ___________ smoking on the premises.

(a) from    (b) on

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

2. She is unavailable at the moment as she is attending _________ an urgent issue.

(a) on    (b) to

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

3. I believe _________  him – he is such a talented and hard-working artist.

(a) with    (b) in

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

4. She took some time off work to care ________ her sick son.

(a) for    (b) of

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

5. I totally agree _______ your opinion – everything you say about this is true!

(a) with    (b) for

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

6. The schoolboy was blamed _______ the broken window.

(a) about    (b) for

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

7. He annoys me because he is always boasting __________ his achievements!

(a) about    (b) with

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

8. I had to choose ____________ going to the cinema or out to dinner as I couldn’t afford to do both.

(a) between    (b) for

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

9. The management team is meeting this afternoon to decide ___________ the best solution.

(a) on    (b) for

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

10. He forgave me __________ my mistake.

(a) about    (b) for

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

Dependent prepositions exercises practice – adjectives

Complete the dependent prepositions exercises by choosing the correct option (a) or (b) to complete each of the sentences.

11. I am so excited ____________ the upcoming concert!

(a) about    (b) with

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

12. Take no notice of what she says she is just envious ___________ you!

(a) with    (b) of

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

13. I am doubtful ___________ the likely success of this project.

(a) with    (b) about

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

14. He is so ashamed __________ what he did and sends his apologies!

(a) of    (b) in

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

15. The company is aware _________ the problem and is working hard to fix it soon.

(a) of    (b) in

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

16. We were so dissatisfied ___________ the service, we won’t eat at that restaurant again.

(a) with    (b) at

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

17. It is good that the whole team is so enthusiastic __________ the changes.

(a) to    (b) about

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

18. He is so good ___________ public speaking.

(a) at    (b) of

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

19. She was so kind __________ me when I was having problems.

(a) to    (b) with

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

20. I am so tired __________ my job, I need a change I think.

(a) of    (b) about

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

Dependent prepositions exercises practice – nouns

Complete the dependent prepositions exercises by choosing the correct option (a) or (b) to complete each of the sentences.

21. It was an unjustified attack ________ an innocent party.

(a) of    (b) on

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

22. His attitude ____________ the subject is very narrow-minded.

(a) in    (b) towards

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

23. The manager thanked the staff on behalf _________ the directors.

(a) of    (b) on

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

24. There is no need ___________ violence in any circumstances.

(a) of    (b) for

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

25. The reason __________ the accident is still to be established.

(a) of    (b) for

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

26. Conditions are much better but there is still room __________ further improvement.

(a) for    (b) in

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

27. The rise ____________ crime levels has been attributed to lower employment opportunities.

(a) in    (b) of

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

28. There was a public outcry in reaction ___________ the government’s proposals.

(a) with    (b) to

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

29. He has extensive knowledge ___________ the subject.

(a) of    (b) with

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

30. The teacher let them finish class early __________ condition that they arrived early the next day.

(a)  in   (b) on

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.
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Dependent prepositions with verbs, adjectives and nouns

Dependent prepositions (with verbs, adjectives and nouns)

Certain verbs, adjectives and nouns naturally take certain prepositions when placed in a sentence – these are called dependent prepositions.

For example, you can object to (something), participate in (something), complain about (something).

Unfortunately there are no fixed rules that can help you decide which dependent prepositions should be placed with which words, you really just need to learn them.

Remember that sometimes usage of different dependent prepositions change the meaning.

dependent prepositionsDependent prepositions example 1:

He is angry with us. (angry with ‘someone’)

He is angry about the problem. (angry about ‘a situation’)

Dependent prepositions example 2:

He is good at football (meaning he has skill / ability in something – he is good at (playing) football).

She is good with children (meaning she has a positive relationship with / has an affinity with…).

A teacher for example, might be good at teaching English and may be good with their students.

The best way to learn more about dependent prepostions is to make a list of your own, and then find sentences that use the structure. Google can be very useful for that. For example, if you were trying to remember that complain is generally followed by about, simply type in “complain about” in Google and see the results.

NOTE: It is important to use the speech marks (” “) around the phrase you are searching for so that only results with that phrase will come up.

xx

Verbs and dependent prepositions Adjectives and dependent prepositions Nouns and dependent prepositions
abide by according to in agreement
abstain from accustomed to attack on
accuse (somebody) of afraid of attitude towards
add to annoyed with/about/at on behalf of
adhere to anxious about comparison between
agree with ashamed of on condition (that)
aim at/for astonished at connection between
allow for attached to cruelty towards
apologise to someone for something aware of decrease in
apply for delighted at/about delay in
approve of different from difference between/of
argue with/about dissatisfied with difficulty in/with
arrest (somebody) for doubtful about disadvantage of
ask for enthusiastic about in doubt
attend to envious of under guarantee
believe in excited about increase in
belong to famous for information about
blame (somebody) for fed up with intention of
boast about fond of knowledge of
borrow (something) from (somebody) frightened of need for
call for friendly with notice of
care for good at in order
choose between guilty of pleasure in
comment on incapable of in power
compare with interested in in practice
complain about jealous of preference for
concentrate on keen on protection from
conform to kind to reaction to
congratulate on mad at/about reason for
consent to opposed to reduction in
consist of pleased with report on
deal with popular with result of
decide on proud of rise in
excel at/in puzzled by/about at risk
excuse (somebody) for safe from room for
face up to satisfied with solution to
forgive (somebody) for sensitive to(wards) on strike
hear of/about serious about on suspicion of
hope for sick of under suspicion
insist on similar to in theory
interfere with/in sorry for/about in trouble
joke about suspicious of trouble with
laugh at sympathetic to(wards)
lend (something) to (somebody) tired of
listen to typical of
long for unaware of
mistake (somebody) for used to
object to
pay for
praise (somebody) for
prepare for
present (somebody) with
prevent (somebody) from
protest about
provide (somebody) with
punish (somebody) for
refer to
rely on
run for
save (somebody) from
sentence (somebody) to
smile at
succeed in
suffer from
stand for
talk to (somebody) about (something)
thank (somebody) for
think of/about
volunteer to
wait for
warn (somebody) about
worry about
Click here to try the dependent prepositions exercises.

Reported speech

Reported speech

reported speech

Reported speech, also called indirect speech, is what happens when we are telling someone about what another person said.

Here is an example of direct and reported speech:

Direct speech: I don’t like this party.
Reported or indirect speech: He said (that) he didn’t like the party.

When changing direct speech into reported speech, there are four points to consider:

Reported speech point #1: changing pronouns

If the speaker uses a pronoun that does not work if reported by you, it needs to be changed. For example:

Direct speech

“I don’t like homework,” he said.

“My mum told me to study,” she said.

Reported or indirect speech

He said (that) he didn’t like homework.

She said (that) her mum told her to study.

Reported speech point #2: changing locations

A change of place between when the conversation was held and when it was reported may mean that the ‘place’ words need changing.

Direct speech > Reported or indirect speech

For example:

“I don’t like it here, he said. – reported from somewhere else – He said (that) he didn’t like it there.

This party is boring,” he said. – reported from somewhere else – He said (that) the party was boring.

“My mum told me to come home,” she said. > She said (that) her mum told her to go home.

“You should spend the weekend here,” he said. > He said (that) I should spend the weekend there.

Reported speech point #3: changing timing

NOTE: imagine that the speech below is being reported one month later than the direct speech.

Direct speech >> Reported or indirect speech

“I met her this morning,” she said. >> She said (that) she met her that morning.

“I can see you now,” the teacher said. >> The teacher said (that) he could see me then.

“I changed jobs a month ago,” John said. >> John said (that) he had changed jobs the month before.

“I’ll see you next week,” the doctor said. >> The doctor said (that) she would see me the following week.

“We’ll tell you tomorrow,” they said. >> They said (that) they would tell me the following / the next day.

Reported speech point #4: changing the tense

Often you will need to change the tense from the direct speech. The table below shows the common changes between tenses.

For more information on the tenses, see the main grammar menu.

Direct speechReported speech

Present simple changes to past simple: “It is lovely!” she said. – She said (that) it was lovely.

Present continuous changes to past continuous: “I am studying,” she said. – She said (that) she was studying.

Present perfect changes to past perfect: “I have finished,” she said.She said (that) she had finished.

Present perfect continuous changes to past perfect continuous: “I’ve been cooking,” she said. – She said (that) she had been cooking.

Past simple changes to the past perfect: “I saw Jim at work,” she said. – She said (that) she had seen Jim at work.

Past perfect doesn’t change: “I had already missed the bus,” she said. – She said (that) she had already missed the bus.

Past perfect continuous doesn’t change: “I had been waiting for 10 minutes,” she said. – She said (that) she had been waiting for 10 minutes.

Will changes to would: “I will see you later,” she said. – She said (that) she would see me later.

Can changes to could: “I can help,” she said. – She said (that) she could play help.

Must changes to had to: “I must go,” she said. – She said (that) she had to go.

Shall changes to should: “What shall we do today?” she said. – She asked what we should do that day.

May changes to might: “I may have a day off today,” she said. – She said (that) she might have a day off that day.

 

Additional notes about reported speech

1. Using ‘that’ in reported speech

When reporting speech, you can add ‘that’ so the sentence. However, if you use common reporting verbs like ‘say’ or ‘think’ it is not essential. For example:

Direct speech: “I will see you later,” she said.

Reported speech: She said she would see me later OR She said that she would see me later.

Note: with some verbs like ‘ reply’ or ‘shout’ you can’t drop the ‘that’.

e.g. She shouted that she would be there in a minute. NOT She shouted she would be there in a minute.

e.g. He replied that he was tired. NOT He replied he was tired.

2. Reporting questions in reported speech

When reporting a yes / no question (where the answer can be yes or no), the reported speech changes to use the word ‘if’ or ‘whether’. For example:

Direct speech: “Do you like coffee?” she said.

Reported speech: She asked me if I liked coffee. OR She asked me whether I liked coffee.

3. Different reporting verbs used in reported speech

‘Said’ is only one of the many reporting verbs.

To expand your vocabulary and make what you are saying more interesting, it is important to learn more reporting verbs. Here are some of the most common reporting verbs:

  • said
  • told
  • asked
  • accused
  • admitted
  • advised
  • explained
  • thought
  • implied
  • invited
  • offered
  • ordered
  • promised
  • replied
  • suggested
  • denied
  • alleged
  • agreed
  • apologised
  • begged
  • boasted
  • complained

Click here to try the reported speech exercises.

Reported speech exercises

Reported speech exercises

reported speech exercisesHave you read the information page on reported speech? Click here to read it before you try the reported speech exercises.

Remember to register to get email updates.

Complete the reported speech exercises below to test your knowledge.

Practice: reported speech exercises

Do the sentences below show correct use of reported speech? If not, what corrections need to be made?

1. “I go swimming every day,” he said.

Is this reported speech correct?  He said that he went swimming every day.

click here to see the answer
This is correct.

 

2. “My daughter is starting university soon,” she said.

Is this reported speech correct?  She said my daughter was starting university soon.

click here to see the answer
This is incorrect – the pronoun needs to change – it should be as follows: She said her daughter was starting university soon.

 

3. “Will you have time to meet me for coffee?” he asked.

Is this reported speech correct?  He asked me would I have time to meet him for coffee?

click here to see the answer
This is incorrect – there are two errors. This is reporting a yes / no question so we need to use ‘if’. We do not need the (?) in a reported question. It should be as follows: He asked me if I would have time to meet him for coffee.

 

4. “Have you locked the door?” he asked.

Is this reported speech correct?  He asked me if I have locked the door.

click here to see the answer
This is incorrect – the tense needs to change from present perfect to past perfect – it should be as follows: He asked me if I had locked the door.

 

5. ‘There are two important issues here: time and money,’ the boss advised.

Is this reported speech correct?  The boss advised that there were two main issues there: time and money.

click here to see the answer
This sentence is correct.

 

6. “I can help you if I finish my own work in time,” Sara promised.

Is this reported speech correct?  Sara suggested that she can help me if she finished her own work in time.

click here to see the answer
This is incorrect – the tense has changed from present simple to past simple but ‘can’ also needs to change to ‘could’ – it should be as follows: Sarah suggested that she could help me if she finished her own work in time.

 

7. “I was driving home when I saw the crash,” Jason explained.

Is this reported speech correct?  Jason explained that he had been driving home when he had seen the crash.

click here to see the answer
This sentence is correct.

 

8. “I’m sorry, I must go now as I am running late!” Geoff said.

Is this reported speech correct?  Geoff said that he must go then as he was running late.

click here to see the answer
This is incorrect – the tense has changed from present continuous to past continuous but ‘must’ also needs to change to ‘had to’ – it should be as follows: Geoff said that he had to go then as he was running late.

 

9. “I’ll give you all the information you need tomorrow,” the teacher told the students.

Is this reported speech correct (reported three days later)? The teacher told the students she would give them all the information they needed tomorrow.

click here to see the answer
This is incorrect – ‘will’ has been changed to ‘would’, tense and and pronoun changes are also correct but the time also needs to change- it should be as follows: The teacher told the students she would give them all the information they needed the next day (or the following day).

 

10. “What have you been doing this afternoon?” Tom asked Jenna. “I’ve been studying,” she said.

Is this reported speech correct (reported three days later). Tom asked Jenna what she had been doing that afternoon; she said she had been studying.

click here to see the answer
This sentence is correct.

 

 

 

Gerunds and infinitives exercises

Gerunds and infinitives exercises

Have you read the information page on gerunds and infinitives? Click here to read it before you try the gerunds and infinitives exercises.

Remember to register to get email updates.

Complete the gerunds and infinitives exercises below to test your knowledge.

Gerunds and infinitives exercises practice A

Complete the gerunds and infinitives exercises by choosing the correct option (a) or (b) to complete each of the sentences.

1.  _______________________ is not just fun, it is also great exercise.

(a) To dance    (b) Dancing

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

2. I find __________________________ movies very relaxing.

(a) to watch    (b) watching

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

3. I can’t afford  ___________________ my car at the moment.

(a) to replace    (b) replacing

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

4. I am contemplating  ___________________ a new hobby.

(a) to take up    (b) taking up

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

5. I demanded  ___________________ the manager so I could make a complaint.

(a) to see    (b) seeing

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

6. I keep  ___________________ you every time you come back to visit!

(a) to miss    (b) missing

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

7. He resents  ___________________ so early every day.

(a) to get up    (b) getting up

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

8. He came  ___________________ with me yesterday.

(a) to talk    (b) talking

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

9. I fail  ___________________ what the problem is.

(a) to see    (b) seeing

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

10. ___________________ a book is more interesting than watching a film.

(a) To read    (b) Reading

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

11. They acknowledged ___________________ the letter.

(a) to receive    (b) receiving

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

12. She adores ___________________.

(a) to ski    (b) skiing

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

13. I chose ___________________ during the holidays.

(a) to work    (b) working

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

14. I hope ___________________ the opportunity to work with him.

(a) to get    (b) getting

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

15. They have delayed ___________________ a decision until the boss returns.

(a) to make    (b) making

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

16. The customer threatened ___________________ the company for incompetence.

(a) to sue    (b) suing

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

17. He deserves ___________________ a holiday; he has been working so hard.

(a) to have    (b) having

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

18. The teachers discussed ___________________ a new course at their last meeting.

(a) to introduce    (b) introducing

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

19. I recall ___________________ the issue during a previous meeting.

(a) to discuss    (b) discussing

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

Gerunds and infinitives exercises practice B

The verbs in the sentences below can take either a gerund or an infinitive form but the meaning changes.

Complete the gerunds and infinitives exercises below by selecting the correct meaning (a) or (b).

20a.  He forgot posting the letter.

(a) He had posted the letter, but didn’t remember doing it

(b) He didn’t post the letter because he didn’t remember to do it

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

20b.  He forgot to post the letter.

(a) He had posted the letter, but didn’t remember doing it

(b) He didn’t post the letter because he didn’t remember to do it

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

21a.  He stopped drinking coffee.

(a) He paused what he was doing to drink some coffee

(b) He no longer drinks coffee – he gave it up

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

21b.  He stopped to drink coffee.

(a) He paused what he was doing to drink some coffee

(b) He no longer drinks coffee – he gave it up

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

22a.  I regret to inform you about this situation.

(a) I have to give bad news in a formal situation

(b) I said something I wish I hadn’t

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

22b.  I regret informing you about this situation.

(a) I have to give bad news in a formal situation

(b) I said something I wish I hadn’t

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

23a.  I remember locking the door.

(a) Action then memory – I locked the door and now remember doing it

(b) Memory then action – I remembered I had to lock the door, then I did it

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

23b.  I remembered to lock the door.

(a) Action then memory – I locked the door and now remember doing it

(b) Memory then action – I remembered I had to lock the door, then I did it

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

Gerunds and infinitives

Gerunds and infinitives

Gerunds and infinitives and when to use each form can be confusing.

When there are two main verbs in a sentence, the second verb must be either a gerund (+ing) or an infinitive form of the verb. There are some rules to help you decide when to use gerunds and infinitives.

Gerunds and infinitives rule #1: Use the gerund as the subject

If a sentence uses a verb as the subject of a sentence, it is most common to use a gerund.

For example:

Swimming is good for your health. (not To swim is good for your health.)

Learning is important. (not To learn is important.)

gerunds and infinitivesGerunds and infinitives rule #2: Decided by the main verb

If a sentence uses a verb as the object of a sentence, the decision of whether to use a gerund of an infinitive is made by the main verb in the sentence..

For example:

The thief admitted stealing the money. (the main verb ADMIT is followed by a gerund)

He can’t afford to buy a new car. (the main verb AFFORD is followed by the infinitive).

Unfortunately, there are no reliable rules for deciding whether a main verb should be followed by gerunds and infinitives. It is simply something that needs to be learned. You can use the table below to help.

Gerunds and infinitives rule #3: Either can be used as the object and have the same meaning

Sometimes the object of a sentence can be either a gerund or an infinitive with no difference in the meaning (see the table below for a more complete list of these words)

For example:

It started raining OR It started to rain

I began playing the guitar last year OR I began to play the guitar last year

Gerunds and infinitives rule #4: Either can be used as the object but they have a different meaning

Sometimes using gerunds and infinitives as the object of a sentence can make a difference to the meaning.

For example, look at the use of gerunds and infinitives below, we have these two possible meanings:

Gerund Stop reading that magazine and get back to work! This means that you should not read
Infinitive Stop to read the instructions before you break it! This means you should start reading

Gerunds and infinitives rule #5: use the gerund after prepositions

If there is a preposition after the main verb, then you always use a preposition.

For example:

I’m tired of waiting for you every day!

Many people surf the internet without having a website of their own.

Gerunds and infinitives – general rules

Look at the table below to learn more about general rules when using gerunds and infinitives.


Verbs followed by gerund Verbs followed by infinitive Verbs that can be followed by either gerund or infinitive with no real difference Verbs that can be followed by either gerund or infinitive but with a significant difference
acknowledge
admit
adore
anticipate
appreciate
avoid
celebrate
confess
contemplate
delay
deny
describe
detest
discuss
dislike
dread
endure
enjoy
fancy
finish
imagine
involve
keep
justify
mention
mind
miss
omit
postpone
practise
quit
recall
recommend
regret
report
resent
resume
risk
suggest
tolerate
understand
afford
agree
appear
arrange
ask
attempt
care
choose
claim
come
consent
dare
decide
demand
deserve
determine
elect
endeavour
expect
fail
get
guarantee
help
hesitate
hope
hurry
incline
intend
learn
long
manage
mean
need
offer
plan
prepare
pretend
promise
refuse
resolve
say
seem
tend
threaten
want
wish
begin
continue
hate
like
love
prefer
start
forget
remember
stop
regret

NOTE: The table above is not a complete list (a complete list would be pages and pages long!)

Click here to try the gerunds and infinitives exercises.