Gerunds & Infinitives - ESL Grammar Ideas

I have made a change to how I teach Gerunds and Infinitives to low intermediates.


Gerunds and Infinitive lessons are famous for the 3 lists of verbs:

  • Verbs followed by gerunds
  • Verbs followed by infinitives
  • Verbs followed by both

The problem I have found the past few times I have taught it is the difficulty of the verbs.

Verbs like admit, threaten, deserve, deny, or intend are always on the lists. The problem is I spend most of my time teaching the verb definition and not practicing the grammar point.

Of course these verbs are important, and some are easy to teach, but I find too much time is spent teaching them. In the past, my Gerunds and Infinitive lessons turned into vocabulary lessons.

The problem with this is it goes against a basic rule of teaching grammar:

Do not explain a new grammar rule with examples using new grammar or vocabulary.

For example, think about a simple past lesson with examples:

Yesterday, I went to the the park.
Yesterday, I went to the tanning salon.

Clearly, the students would not understand tanning salon, and the point of the example would be lost. This concept should also apply to gerunds and infinitives.

Due to this, I have cut down my list of verbs and have found more success.

Here is the new list, which really only has verbs that intermediate students already know.



Verbs Followed by Gerunds
avoid
can’t help
complete
discuss
dislike
don’t mind
enjoy
finish
keep
miss
practice
quit
recommend
understand

Verbs Followed by Infinitives
agree
ask
choose
decide
fail
happen
hope
know how
learn
prepare
promise
volunteer
wait
want
wish

Verbs Followed by Both
begin
can’t stand
continue
expect
forget
go
hate
like
love
plan
prefer
remember
start
stop
try


If you are looking for gerunds and infinitives lessons and quizzes, try these links:

Gerunds and Infinitives

Gerunds and Infinitives Test

Gerunds and Infinitives Test

Gerunds and Infinitives Test








7 comments:

  1. you didn't offer any special games in this page

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, sorry about that. How about a quick one here in the reply:

      1. Fill the board with as many verbs as you can.
      2. Students work in teams or pairs.
      3. Each team must use two verbs to make one sentence. (e.g. Enjoy, Run - I enjoy running)
      4. If the sentence is correct, the team scores a point.
      5. The teacher erases the two verbs from the board and the game continues.
      6. When all the verbs are gone, the game is over and the highest score wins.

      That's a quick idea that you could use at the end of the class for some review and some competitive fun. Hope you enjoyed it. Perhaps I could get another post together with some more detailed activities, but I thought you would like that one to start.

      Delete
  2. Remember and stop can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive, but the meaning is different.

    I didn't remember to lock the door.
    I don't remember locking (having locked) the door.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment. It's true, and that's why you can find them on the "both" list. Thanks for pointing out the difference in meaning.

      Depending on the student level, I will teach this. However, I find it is over the heads of lower level students.

      Delete
  3. Hi, I'm preparing to teach this for the first time and I just want to say thanks for this. You've helped me begin to put together the first of an outline because all the endless rules (or lack thereof - just endless differences) have just completely boggled my mind - and then to present to students what I could barely make sense of myself? Yeah, no. Truly, I appreciate it!! This will be invaluable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for such a nice comment. I hope the lesson goes well. It sounds like you have been researching and preparing, so it will surely be a success.

      Delete