Meaning changes of STOP + Gerund or Infinitive | DailyStep English

Meaning changes of STOP + Gerund or Infinitive

 

What is the difference between STOP + GERUND and STOP + INFINITIVE?

STOP  with GERUND or INFINITIVE - How The Meaning Changes When you are thirsty, do you STOP TO DRINK , or do you STOP DRINKING?  And can you ever say STOP DRINK? Take this free quiz and Audio Lesson to avoid grammar mistakes when using the verb STOP, and make sure you don't say the opposite of what you mean! I hear these mistakes even from advanced students of English - so make sure you know how to use STOP with the correct grammar. Start the quiz here:


Here is Audio Word Study #034 from Jane Lawson at 
DailyStep.com.

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This week we are going to look at the grammar of a very common word – STOP! I so often hear students using this word incorrectly so I hope this will clear up your confusion!

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Let’s start by taking a look at some common mistakes:

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1. Could you please stop to make that noise? I am trying to sleep.

2. I stopped to eat peanuts because I was allergic to them.

3. He stopped to drive because he was so tired.

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4 While we were walking, we got lost so we stopped looking at the map.

5. He was thirsty during his speech so he stopped drinking a glass of water.

6. It was very cold so I stopped zipping up my coat.

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All of these sentences are incorrect. In sentences 1, 2 and 3, STOP is followed by the infinitive form of the verb. In these sentences, the infinitives are to make, to eat and to drive.

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In sentences 4, 5 and 6, STOP is followed by the gerund form of the verb. In these sentences, the gerunds are looking, drinking and zipping.

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Most verbs in English always take either the gerund or the infinitive. You need to learn which one is correct, and then always use that form. Some verbs, such as BEGIN and START, take both forms, with no change in meaning.

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But a few verbs, such as STOP, have a different meaning depending on whether they are followed by the gerund or the infinitive.

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So, what is the problem with sentences 1 to 6, above? In each case, STOP is followed by the wrong form of the verb. Let’s look at the correct versions:

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1. Could you please stop making that noise? I am trying to sleep. (note: here, the speaker wants the noise to stop.)

2. I stopped eating peanuts because I was allergic to them.(note: here, the speaker no longer eats peanuts because of an allergy.)

3. He stopped driving because he was so tired. (note: here, the speaker stops the car and perhaps has some sleep.)

4. While we were walking, we got lost so we stopped to look at the map. (note: here, the speaker stops walking in order to look at the map.) 

5. He was thirsty during his speech so he stopped to drink a glass of water. (note: here, the speaker stops speaking and then drinks a glass of water.)

6. I was very cold so I stopped to zip up my coat. (note: here, the speaker stops and then zips up her coat.)

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So,
 STOP + GERUND means the GERUND activity stops. Above, the activities that stop are making a noise, eating and driving.

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STOP + THE INFINITIVE means the INFINITIVE activity starts, after something else stops. Above, the activities that start are to look at a map, to drink a glass of water and to zip up her coat.

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Now, try to write your own sentences using STOP, sometimes with the gerund and sometimes with the infinitive. Make sure these sentences are true to your own life because this will help you to remember them better.

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**If you are a subscriber to my DailyStep Audio Lessons, you can download this audio file below. The PDF is free for everyone!

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STOP DRINKING OR STOP TO DRINK - what is the difference