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Infinitives and Gerunds


Kate’s got a new iPad and Pete is very interested.

Pete:Hey Kate, is that a new iPad?

Kate: Yeah. I just got it.

Pete: Wow. It looks sweet, not cheap though.

Kate: No, it was quite expensive but I'll get my money’s worth out of it.

Pete: Really? What are you going to use it for?

Kate: Well. I’m going to use it for checking my Facebook and Twitter all the time so I can keep in touch with friends and I’m going to use it to play games too. I love playing games but hopefully I won't spend too much time doing that.

Pete: Ah, I wonder. Well, what about using it for checking your e-mails?

Kate: Emails, yeah, I guess I could check my emails but hey, emails are so yesterday right?

Pete: Yeah, well, I’m getting a little behind the times. Guess I better think of getting one myself when I have some money.

Grammar Notes

Point 1: We can use gerunds or infinitives to describe how things are used.
  1. I mostly use my smart phone to check the sports results on the web.
  2. I use my camera for taking pictures of birds.
Point 2: We use the gerund (verb+ing) with 'for'. Do not use 'to' before a gerund. This is a common mistake.
  1. I use my spare money for buying all those stamps I collect.
  2. Mary uses the ATM for paying bills.
Point 3: We can use either gerunds or infinitives to describe a use. It does not usually matter which you use.
  1. I use my computer to watch movies.
  2. I use my computer for watching movies.
Point 4: This use of infinitives and gerunds is also used in passives quite often.
  1. Smart phones are often used to surf the web.
  2. Computers are often used for playing games.
Answer these questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

quiz2
Grammar Practice
Complete the gaps with the words listed below. Change the form as needed.
play • to • travel
take • for
  1. I use my smartphone surfing the web.
  2. I use my smartphone surf the web.
  3. Computers are used to games.
  4. Cars are used for from A to B.
  5. Cameras are used for pictures.