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IELTS Common Mistakes | verbs: stop, try, forget and remember



English Grammar | verb use: stop / try / forget / remember

People should stop spending their money on the latest fashions. [correct]
People should stop to spend their money on the latest fashions. [incorrect]

The government tried stopping this plan but was not successful. [incorrect]
The government tried to stop this plan but was not successful. [corrcet]

Some verbs have a different meaning when they are followed by -ing or to + infinitive,
Stop + -ing = to stop an activity. Stop + to + infinitive = to stop a previously mentioned activity in order to do something else.

Compare:
The boys stopped playing.
The boys were playing and they stopped to watch a large truck go past. (= they stopped playing in order to watch the truck)

Try + -ing = to attempt to solve a problem by doing something. Try + to + infinitive = to attempt and fail to do something.

Compare:
I tried turning the tap but the water still poured out. (I managed to turn the tap)
I tried to turn the tap but it was too old and rusty. (I couldn't turn the tap)

Forget / remember + -ing = thinking back to a special/significant time in the past.
Forget / remember + to + infinitive = thinking about something that must be done in the future.

Compare:
I remember seeing a bull running down the High Street. (this happened in the past)
I must remember to watch the news tonight. (first I must remember, then I will do it)

See more IELTS common mistakes


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