15.7. Grammar. Gerunds and infinitives with a change of meaning.
Example We didn’t want to pay on the Underground. We attempted everything. We jumped the barrier. We brought children’s tickets. We pretended we didn’t speak English. We put one of the smaller students in a large suitcase and got the guard to open the emergency barrier and let us through. (to try)
We didn’t want to pay on the underground. We tried jumping the barrier; we tried buying children’s tickets. We tried pretending not to speak English. We tried putting one of the smaller students in a large suitcase.....
¨ ‘My memory is not very clear about what happened after we left the bar. I know that we went to the kebab shop. I can’t recall if we ate that horrible English meal or not.’ (to remember) I don’t remember eating that horrible meal.
¨ ‘I wish I hadn’t eaten what ever it was! I feel disgusting now.’ (to regret) I regret eating whatever it was./ I regret having eaten whatever it was.
¨ ‘My intention was to split up with my boyfriend, but I didn’t have the nerve.’ (to mean) I meant to split up with him but I didn’t have the nerve.
¨ ‘Will you not talk please!’ (to stop) ‘This is very intelligent jazz music that we are attempting, quite unsuccessfully, to listen to!’ (to try) We are trying to listen quite unsuccessfully to this very intelligent jazz music.
¨ ‘It completely slipped my mind, that we had met before. She has one of those faces that you can never remember.’ (to forget) I forgot meeting her. / I forgot having met her.
¨ ‘If only I hadn’t mentioned my personal problem to Tricia. Now everybody knows! (to regret) I regret telling Tricia my personal problem. / I regret having told….
¨ ‘Getting a good flat in London involves a lot of hard work. You will need to look at hundreds of horrible, expensive places, before you find one of good value.’ (to mean) Getting a good flat in London involves looking at hundreds of…
¨ ‘Continue what you were saying! Don’t let them interrupt you! (to go on) Go on talking.
¨ ‘Sorry! I didn’t remember to buy the milk. I bumped into Dave and we went to get a ‘refreshment’ together. (to forget) I forgot to buy the milk.’
¨ Why don’t we finish this job and take a break? Let’s have another cuppa!’ (to stop) Why don’t we stop working and take a break?