Workaholics: An exercise to practice gerunds and infinitives

I’ve shared at least one activity in the past for gerunds and infinitives. The following is an activity on the same topic, but it focuses on changes in meaning. This would be ideal to do after a presentation on verbs such as stop, forget, remember, and try.

Level: Intermediate to advanced.

STEP 1: Discuss the meaning of workaholic. Ask students to give examples of things workaholics do or don’t do. Ask them what advice they would give to a friend who is a workaholic.

STEP 2: Distribute copies of the dialog to the class. (Greener alternative: Write it on the board and have students copy it in their notebooks.) Tell students that they will work in pairs to complete the conversation. All nine blanks must be filled in with either a gerund or an infinitive. Each pair will be assigned roles. Each pair of roles will be a workaholic and a concerned friend/ peer.

                Suggested roles:

  • 2 college students
  • 2 co-workers
  • 2 athletes
  • 2 famous actors
  • 2 single parents
  • 2 politicians




A:            Are you okay?

B:            Yes, I’m just a little tired.

A:            You really should stop ____(1)_____. It’s not healthy.

B:            I know I’m trying to do too much, but I’m not sure I can slow down. People expect me ____(2)_____.

A:            You don’t have to stop ___(3)______, but you need to remember             ____(4)_____.

B:            It’s true. You know, sometimes I even forget _____(5)_____. I never seem to have enough time ____(6)_____.

A:            That’s not good. Maybe you should try ____(7)_____. A lot of people say that’s a good way to relax. I think you’d enjoy ____(8)_____.

B:            You’re right. I need to make some changes, don’t I? Tell you what, I’m going to start _____(9)_____.

A:            Glad to hear it!


STEP 3: Pairs will present their dialogs to the class. After each reading, invite feedback. Ask if all the choices were accurate and logical. Highlight the verbs that have a change in meaning depending on what they’re followed by.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Hi, We are thankful for your great support in training our students in a systematic manner.
    We appreciate your dedicated work towards the improvement and development of people.
    thanks.. please keep posting…
    Anwar Shaikh.

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