We can use -ING forms, TO infinitives and infinitives without TO in a variety of ways.

1. As subject

Adapting old buildings for new functions is difficult.

To prevent the destruction of the elevated railway, the residents formed a protest group.

2. As object

Dorothy enjoys finding interesting pieces of furniture.

Dorothy's husband wanted to help.

3. Following BE

The purpose of the National Trust is saving beautiful old buildings.

Claire's intention was to paint a picture of her cat.

4. Following a noun or adjective

There are tenants waiting for the building to be ready.

The council took a long time to decide what to do about the banking house.

It's important to consider the interior as well as the facade.

5. Adding a subject to a TO infinitive clause

We usually add FOR when a TO infinitive clause has a subject.

It's essential for the architects to reduce the budget.

6. Verb + object + -ING clause

In formal language we use a possessive form as the object of an -ING clause.

We didn't like them changing the use of the building. (informal/spoken)

The council objected to their changing the use of building. (formal)

7. Verb + continuous infinitive

The figures seem to be telling us that people want to see the museum's permanent collection.


Building must evolve and adapt in order to stay useful.

The design changed so as to retain the facade.