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Verbs that can be followed by -ing forms

Posted by Manjusha. Filed in English Grammar

After some verbs we can use an –ing form, but not normally an infinitive.

  • I have finished packing. (NOT I have finished to pack.)
  • I enjoy reading. (NOT I enjoy to read.)
  • You must give up smoking. (NOT … to smoke.)
  • The doctor suggested taking a long holiday. (NOT … suggested me to take…)
  • Some common verbs that are normally followed by –ing forms are:

    admit appreciate avoid consider delay
    deny detest dislike endure enjoy
    escape excuse face fancy feel like
    finish forgive give up can't help imagine
    involve mention mind miss postpone
    practice put off resent resist risk
    suggest understand


    Some of the verbs listed above can be followed by object + -ing form.

  • I dislike people telling me what to do.
  • I can’t imagine him working in an office.
  • Nobody can stop him (from) doing what he wants to.
  • After deserve, need and require, the –ing form has a passive sense.

  • The car requires servicing. (= needs to be serviced.)
  • You hair needs cutting. (= needs to be cut.)
  • Some verbs can be followed by both –ing forms and infinitives. These include:

    advise allow can't bear forbid forget
    go go on hate hear intend
    like love permit prefer feel like
    propose regret remember see start
    stop try watch


    Sections in this article

    -ing Forms
    Verbs that can be followed by -ing forms
    -ing forms after nouns and adjectives
    -ing forms after prepositions