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I just had a midterm, and I decided to share my self-made flashcard with you guys. Enjoy.


1- Verbs of Perception (that can be followed by either an infinitive without "to" or an -ING form):

To see
To feel
To hear
To overhear

A. Did you see that stuntwoman do/doing a parachute jump on TV yesterday ?

B. I heard your uncle say/saying that he is terrified of heights.

C. I could feel the man stare/staring at me.

D. I overheard my niece say/saying that her father got a promotion.

the meaning is different:
Infinitive without to - means one witnessed an event or a moment from the beginning to the end (the whole thing in its entirety);
-ING - means one caught up on an event or a moment which was already in progress, and only from a certain point, followed it through to the end.

E. I heard an awesome violinist play at the Concert Hall yesterday.

*In the sentence above, it's implied that the person heard everything the violinist played FROM BEGINNING TO END.

F. I heard an awesome violinist playing at the Concert Hall yesterday.

*In the sentence above, it's implied that the concert was IN PROGRESS when the person heard it.

We can use an -ING form after the verbs "to see", "to feel", "to hear" and "to overhear" in order to emphasize an action in progress.

G. When I walked into the house, I heard my wife singing in the shower. (she was ALREADY singing when her husband came into the house. ACTION IN PROGRESS).

According to traditional English rules, the following verbs can also be followed by either form:
To watch
To listen
To look at

Current American usage, however, indicates that "to watch" and "to listen" are usually followed more frequently by an infinitive without "to".

H. I just sat there and watched my cousin lift those heavy weights by himself.

I. We listened to her tell about her adventures.

To look at is followed by an infinitive without "to" when one wants to express one's admiration for someone's outstanding ability to do something.

J. Look at that driver race! He's incredibly fast!

To look at it is followed by an -ING form when one wants to call someone's attention.

Look at that man crying. I think the boss finally fired him.

2- Verbs followed only by the -ING form:

Verbs followed by an -ING form + (pro)noun (to express an action in progress):

To smell
To catch
To spot (verb + noun + ing = "to spot" is usually expressed in a past tense)
To find

A. I smell something burning in the kitchen. (action *burning* = was already in progress when the person sensed it)

*the same usage goes to "to catch", "to spot" and "to find". Remember that "to spot" is usually expressed in a past tense when it's followed by a noun + -ING:

B. I spotted a helicopter hovering over the lake by my house this morning.

The construction spend/waste + expression of time or money is also followed by an -ING form.

C. I spend most of my time studying English.

D. I wasted a lot of money gambling at the casinos.

The construction sit/stand/lie + expression of place is also followed by an -ING form.

E. Jill sat at Chris' desk reading his notes.

F. Barry was standing on the corner waiting for Jill to show up.

G. Noas is lying on her bed reading a book.

Some expressions using the verb "to have" are also followed by an -ING form.
*to have a lot of fun/to have fun doing something (I had a lot of fun playing video games);
*to have a good/great/difficult/hard/etc... time doing something (Jill had a great time shopping in Paris);
* having trouble/difficulty/etc... in doing something (He is having trouble breaking that horse).

3- Impersonal pronouns:

One: followed by nouns (referring back to it) - one, one's, oneself;
*s/he, his/her, him/her, himself/herself (to avoid discriminating a gender when referring back to "one", instead of using just "he,his,him,himself").

A. One should learn how to solve one's own problems;

One should learn how to solve his/her own problems.

You: followed by nouns (referring back to it) - you, your, yours, yourself;
In informal English, the impersonal "you" is used more frequently than "one"

B. You can't expect people to love you if you don't love yourself.

We: followed by nouns (referring back to it) - we, us, our, ours, ourselves
Often used as an impersonal pronoun when the writer/speaker wants to give the reader/listener a sense of involvement in the text/what the speaker has to say.

C. We should do whatever is in our power to bring peace upon our world.

They/People: followed by nouns (referring back to it) - they, their, theirs, them, themselves.

D. They should learn how to deal with their choices in life by themselves.

4- Help/Let:

"To help"can be followed by either an infinitive without "to" or an infinitive with "to". Current usage, however, suggests it is more commonly followed by an infinitive without "to".

A. I usually help mum cook/to cook our meals. (both are correct, however the infinitive without "to" is more commonly used).
*to let can only be followed by an infinitive without "to", NEVER by an infinitive with "to".

B. I promise I will let you drive the car tomorrow.

*no matter whether the verbs "help" and "let" are expressed in the past, present or future, the verbs that follow are still expressed in the infinitive. (see the verbs "to cook" and "to drive" above).

5- General notes:

*To hover over something (to soar/float/fly);

*Toasted - informal adjective, meaning "drunk", used with the verbs "to be" and "to get";

*dull = not sharp / something unpleasant / colors that lack richness or intensity

*lemon (defective or of inferior quality motor vehicle)

*to be in hot water / to get into/out of hot water (to be in trouble / to get into/out of trouble)

*Word has it = People are saying.../It's rumored that...

* Disinterested vs Uninterested:

Disinterested = being impartial. (A judge's decision should always be impartial. *not in favor of either side due to personal preference*);

Uninterested = not interested in/not caring (I do not care about your hobbies).

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Comment by Dufourmentel Christian on May 8, 2013 at 6:24

Thank you Cloe

I enjoy studying your explanations.

 Although my head aches every single day I am going to watch on your blog

your useful lesson. This many rules and  words too that should be understood perfectly!

well done ! what a terrific idea! nice blog so keep on sharing your knowledge.

what about the next topic?

Comment by noaslpls on May 8, 2013 at 3:53

Hmmm... should the sentence be like this : "Noas is lying on her bed pretending to read a book." but in fact Noas is sleeping like a log. LOL.

Comment by A dream on May 7, 2013 at 10:57

thankssssssss million times , your blog was wonderful .lots of points that i havent noticed them specially grammar part thank you :)"

Comment by Esma on May 7, 2013 at 10:39


what a wonderful lesson. I personally have a very big probplem with verb paterns

                    HURRAH   FOR    GRAMMR  !!!

Thanks a trillion times for sharing such a great blog it was really useful and helpful

Comment by Bala from India on May 7, 2013 at 8:45

I think i have to read many times to understand this and to put in usage... Let me sit with a notebook and take note of it... hahaha.. seriously, only then it ll go into my mind, i believe....

After reading the blogs about Grammar, i am feeling myself shameful for using the English without knowing all these grammatical conditions...

And... Wow.. you have added our discussion of "Disinterested and Uninterested" in ur blog...So nice of you... 

Comment by A B (Ameni) on May 7, 2013 at 0:52
Comment by Stephen on May 6, 2013 at 17:37

Thank you Chloe, nice!

Comment by nida on May 6, 2013 at 16:41 comments are moderated! I didn't review what I wrote. hehehe

Thanks Chloe O'Brain for your blog!

Comment by nida on May 6, 2013 at 16:39

I guess I need to read it a few more times to understand fully!

Comment by Steph on May 6, 2013 at 15:40

Ok Anele, fine! xD lol

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