Published on February 24, 2014
Gerunds and Infinitives Chapter 14 News Story: Cat Tries to Pull a Fast One on Firefighters 1
Recently in Florida, a typical “Cat Avoids Getting Rescued” story had an unexpected twist. Catching a scared cat is no easy task as the firefighters from the South Florida city of Weston were well aware, but extracting a kitty from under the frame of a car in heavy rain is even harder. Firefighters tried jacking up the car and taking off a wheel, but the feline was scared of being hurt. She kept avoiding the men. At some point, the cat escaped undetected. This caused the crew to continue searching for another hour. They began by peering into the bushes and scouring a nearby parking lot. The firefighters were used to catching a kitty in a short amount of time. This was taking much too long. Eventually, they gave up trying to find the cat and headed back to the station. 2
A gerund can be used as the subject of a sentence or the object of a verb. Catching a scared kitty is no easy task. subject The firefighters tried jacking up the car. object of the verb 3
A gerund can be used as the object of a preposition. The kitty was scared of being hurt. object of preposition The firefighters were worried about hurting the kitty. object of preposition 4
PRACTICE 1 Complete each sentence with a preposition and a form of the verb in parentheses. to catching 1. Firefighters are accustomed (catch) __________ cats quickly. in rescuing 2. Firefighters usually succeed (rescue) ___________ lost cats. of searching 3. They were tired (search) _____________ for the kitty. about hurting 4. They were worried (hurt) ______________ the scared cat. 5. After 4 hours, no one would blame the firefighters (end) for ending ___________ the search for the kitty. on finding 6. But the firefighters insisted (find) __________ the lost cat. 5
Five hours later, the elusive cat reappeared -- at the station, in the fire truck's rear wheel well. The firefighters were not having a good time searching for the cat. They had spent a lot of time trying to catch the cat, but they decided to give it one more try. This time, firefighters used food to try to lure the cat out. It didn’t work. The cat refused to budge, so the crew resorted to a successful three-person attack: one poked the feline gently in the backside with a stick, another used a hose to push it into an open area, so the third could grab it and pull it out. The cat was dirty but unharmed. The cat’s owner thanked them over and over for bringing his cat to safety. 6
-ing form follows certain special expressions. have a good time have fun + Verb -ing The firefighters were not having a good time searching for the cat. The firefighters were not having fun searching for the cat. 7
-ing form follows certain special expressions. have trouble/difficulty have a hard time have a difficult time + -ing They had a hard time trying to catch the cat. They had trouble trying to catch the cat. 8
Some verbs are immediately followed by an infinitive. The firefighters wanted to find the cat quickly. The cat refused to budge. want to refuse to intend to hope to need to promise to plan to offer to seem to like to agree to pretend to decide to appear to ask to 9
PRACTICE 2 Gerund or Infinitive? 1. The firefighters had a difficult time (rescue) _________ the cat. rescuing to avoid 2. The cat seemed (avoid) _________ the men intentionally. hurting 3. They were worried about (hurt) ________ the kitty. 10
PRACTICE 2 Gerund or Infinitive? 4. In the end, it required three people (catch) _________ the cat. to catch to stop 5. The firefighters refused (stop) ________ the search for the cat. hiding 6. Finally, they found the cat (hide) ______ in their own truck. 11
Some verbs can be followed by either an infinitive or a gerund…with no difference in meaning. The crew continued searching for the cat. same meaning The crew continued to search for the cat. 12
Some verbs can be followed by either an infinitive or a gerund, but the meaning is different. Remember Forget Regret Try Firefighters tried jacking up the car and taking off a wheel. (They were able to jack up the car.) Firefighters tried to jack up the car and take off a wheel. (They were NOT able to jack up the car.) 13
Some verbs can be followed by either an infinitive or a gerund, but the meaning is different. A firefighter said to the cat’s owner: “I regret to tell you that we couldn’t catch your cat.” (sorry to tell someone bad news right now) After they found the cat, the firefighter said, “I don’t regret spending so much time on the search for the cat.” (sorry or not about something that already happened) 14
PRACTICE 3 Check Your Knowledge 1. Who went (running, to run) after the cat? 2. The men spent too much time (catching, to catch) the cat. 3. They remembered (searching, to search) for a lot of other cats on other rainy days. 4. They caught the cat (hiding, to hide) in the fire truck. 5. They tried (finding, to find) the cat for a long time. 6. It is dangerous for cats (hurting, to hide) under a 15 car.
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