Verb Patterns Lesson Three: Verb + Preposition + Gerund

A rule in English that doesn’t have any exceptions is that after a preposition, the verb always takes the form of a gerund.

Verbs + Infinitive

The following verbs all use this pattern: think (of/about), succeed (in), feel (like), accuse (of), dream (of), specialize (in), worry (about), look forward (to), decide (against).

  • We’re thinking of having a baby.
  • He was thinking of leaving but in the end he stayed.
  • They succeeded in upsetting everyone at the party.
  • I don’t feel like going out tonight

More Examples

  • They didn’t feel like coming to the party.
  • He’s accused of stealing $10,000.
  • They accused me of being lazy at work.
  • I dream of travelling around Asia.

More Examples

  • He dreams of owning his own business.
  • Mark specializes in getting new clients.
  • I used to specialize in teaching business English.
  • I worry about deleting everything from my computer.

More Examples

  • He worries about losing too much.
  • I’m looking forward to finishing this project!
  • They worry about not having enough money.

More Examples

  • We’re really looking forward to seeing you both later.
  • We decided against buying that car.
  • I thought you decided against teaching that class.

Dialogue

The following is a conversation using the verbs + gerund format (this conversation follows from lesson one and two):

(David has arrived in Switzerland and is talking with Beth)

Beth: I’ve dreamed of living here for so long, what do you think?

David: It’s great, I love it!

Beth: I was a little worried about moving here because of the prices, but I love it too.

David: You know, I’m thinking of moving somewhere new too, I initially thought about Spain, but then I decided against it.

Beth: That’s really exciting! What about moving here? You specialize in software and I have lots of friends who do the same.

David: It’s something to think about. But what about tonight?

Beth: I feel like going out. What do you think?

David: Sounds great! Looking forward to it!

Exercise

Questions

Use the correct form of the correct verb in the following: think of, feel like, worry about, look forward to, accuse of, decide against.

1. He’s always __________ losing his money.

2. I just don’t __________ cooking tonight.

3. I’m really __________ going to see that film later.

4. We’re __________ moving house.

5. He was ___________ stealing at his last job.

Answers

1. worried about

2. feel like

3. looking forward to

4. thinking of

5. accused of

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