Infinitives and Gerunds 

Although many verbs take both forms, gerunds and infinitives, there seem to be an underlying semantic principle that the infinitive very often expresses something hypothetical, future unfulfilled, and the gerund typically expresses something real, vivid and fulfilled.

Consider The Following

  • I remember locking the door. (locking occurred before remembering)
  • I remembered to lock the door. ( remembering occurred before locking)
  • I tried closing the window. (I closed the window) 
  • I tried to close the window. (I didn't close the window)
Hope - Want - Like - Love
And pessimistic verbs take gerunds- such as:    dislike - avoid - hate - deny
 I hate (see) _____ any living being suffer -> seeing
Verbs taking both gerunds and infinitives: regret, try forget, remember, prefer
What do you remember doing yesterday? 
What did you remember to do yesterday?
However, notice that the meaning may change depending on whether we use gerunds or infinitives.
There is another rule: optimistic verbs take infinitives - such as: 




Consider The Following:

I prefer (drive) _____ rather than (take) _____ a plane -> driving, taking
If I say, "I prefer to drive rather than to take the plane," I mean NOW.
If I say, "I prefer driving rather than taking the plane," I mean ALWAYS.
What did you forget (do) _____ before you left for class this morning? 



if I say, "What did you forget doing before you left for class this morning?" will sound awkward because the gerund 'DOING' here implies regularity and in the meantime, the sentence uses the adverb 'this morning' which implies a specific condition. 

Try The Following
  • I saw you in London last year. I will never forget (to see - seeing) you there.

  • Don't worry about your valuables.  I will remember (to lock - locking) the door