Verb BFFs (Verb + Gerund Combinations) 

 Young boy with a soccer ballWhen we put a verb next to a verb, the second verb takes the form of a gerund or an infinitive.  For example, we say:

I like to play soccer.


I like playing soccer. 


Some verbs, such as “like,” can be followed by either form.  However, other verbs can only be followed by one or the other.  Students of English need to memorize which verbs are followed by infinitives and which are followed by gerunds.

Below are three very common verbs that are followed by gerunds.


Keep talking.  I’m listening.

Why do you keep buying stuff you don’t need?

Let’s keep playing World of Warcraft.  I’ve nothing better to do.

Why does he keep not texting me back?

(Notice how we put not in front of the gerund if we wish to make it negative.)

 Spend (noun) 

Don’t spend all your time speaking with people from your own country!

He spends all his money buying junk food.

She loves to spend hours at night snap chatting with her friends.

He failed the class because he spent the whole class not listening to the teacher.

 Waste (noun) 

She wastes a lot of water taking 40 minute showers.

Don’t waste your life waiting for Mr. Right to come along!

They wasted class time texting.

Why did he waste all that time and money not paying attention in class?