for Spanish/Portuguese speakers 1


INFINITIVE           S/P                       GERUND

to pay                  pagar                   paying

to buy                  comprar              buying

to learn               aprender             learning

to eat                   comer                  eating

to distinguish     distinguir            distinguishing

to ask for            pedir                    asking for (phrasal verb)

WHEN/WHERE to use the infinitive?

As a VERB after another verb (often of ACTIVE nature):

–         I have decided TO EAT only vegetables from now on.

–         She hopes TO LEARN a new language this year.

–         We want TO BUY organic food.

–         I promise TO PAY immediately.

–         He’s offering TO BUY lunch for all of us.

WHEN/WHERE to use a gerund?

Where you would put a NOUN after a verb:

–         I enjoy EATING out.

–         He suggested BUYING a second hand car.

–         We miss VISITING our grandparents.

–         I hate PAYING for parking. (TIP: if in doubt, use the gerund after a preposition)

–         Not preparing for the exam is ASKING FOR trouble.


–         The gerund can be used as the SUBJECT or OBJECT of a sentence (see above)

–         After LIKE it is possible to use either infinitive or gerund (the gerund often sounds better), but after WOULD LIKE the infinitive is used


–         Compare:

facilitar     (S/P)-        to facilitate (E)

complicar    (S/P)-       to complicate (E)

demostrar (S/P)    –     to demonstrate (E)



identificar (S/P)    –     to identify (E)

imaginar (S/P)   –        to imagine (E)

simplificar (S/P)   –     to simplify (E)

justificar (S/P)   –        to justify (E)

unificar (S/P)   –          to unify (E)


LEARN these words. Do not assume all English verbs will follow the Latin pattern!








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