The verbs remember, forget, stop & try are the most common verbs which change their meaning in the gerund (-ing form) and the infinitive (to form of the verb).
Compare the following sentences:
- to remember to do something is to not forget something that needs to be done
- to remember doing something is to have a memory of something you have done
Example sentence: Remember to take a jacket. Meaning: Don’t forget you need to take a jacket.
Example sentence: She remembers taking her jacket. Meaning: She has a memory of taking her jacket (i.e. she remembers the action of picking it up and putting it on).
- to forget to do something is to not remember something that you needed to do
- to forget doing something is to have no memory of something you have done
Example sentence: He forgot to do his homework. Meaning: He didn’t do his homework. He forgot it was necessary.
Example sentence: He forgot going to Spain. Meaning: He has no memory of going to Spain. He was too young at the time.
- to stop to do something is to stop for a reason or a purpose
- to stop doing something is to stop an action in general or to stop an action at a moment in time
Example sentence: He stopped (walking) to talk to me. Meaning: The reason he stopped was because he wanted to talk to me.
Example sentence: He stopped talking to me. Meaning: He doesn’t talk to me anymore. / He stopped his conversation with me.
- try to do something is to make an effort or an attempt to do something
- try doing something is to experiment
Example sentence: Luis tried wakeboarding, surfing, diving and learning English in Australia. Meaning: Luis experimented with wakeboarding, surfing, diving and learning English.
Example sentence: Luis became very good at wakeboarding but didn’t really try to learn English. Meaning: He didn’t make an effort to learn English.
In the following multiple-choice exercise, choose the infinitive or gerund form of the verb that has the same meaning as the example sentence.