Difference Between Gerund and Infinitive

Gerund vs Infinitive

Gerund and infinitive are parts of grammar that are very confusing for the students because of their similarities. Both have similarities in the sense that they can be used to describe a reason or a purpose. If there is an object that you use, you can describe it using both a gerund as well as an infinitive. However, there are differences that will be talked about in this article.

Let us start by taking the example of something that we use in our daily lives. We all use hairbrush to comb our hairs. However, there are different ways to describe the reason or purpose of a hair brush. Take a look at the two examples below.

• I use a hairbrush to comb my hairs.

• A hairbrush is used for combing hairs.


Gerund is a verbal that is made from a verb by adding ing. Its purpose is to work as a noun despite being a verb. In the above examples, combing is an example of a gerund as it is a verb that acts as a noun in the sentence. A gerund can be made by simply adding ing to a verb.


Infinitive is a verbal that is made by adding ‘to’ before the verb. Some examples of infinitives are to play, to walk, to read etc.

To help poor people is a virtue desired in the rich people of the world.

In this example, to help is an infinitive that has been formed with the base verb help.

Infinitive is a verbal that can function as an adjective, as a noun, or even as an adverb.

Gerund vs Infinitive

• Both gerunds and infinitives are verbals that are formed using verbs but differ in the manner in which they are used to indicate the reason or purpose.

• Gerund is a verbal that is made by adding ing to a verb and serves as a noun.

• Infinitive is a verbal that is formed by adding to before a verb and can serve as a noun, adjective, or even as an adverb.

• Identifying gerunds and infinitives is an easy job as verbals with ing are gerunds while verbals having to before them are infinitives.

• Both gerunds, as well as infinitives, can be objects and subjects of sentences, but infinitives cannot be objects of the preposition.

• The use of gerund makes for a different meaning of the sentence than when infinitive is used.