Copyright © 2016-2020 Jennifer Helfand                                     


Stop + infinitive vs. Stop + ing

infinitive: to + verb; the verb is not conjugated

penny: one cent in U.S. currency.

STOP + ing: WHAT you stop doing


It can be something that you stop doing permanently or temporarily.


Stop Permanently

to pick your nose: to stick your finger in your nose to remove mucus; the mucus in your nose is sometimes called “boogers”, especially by children

(my brother)

to lie through one’s teeth: to tell a lie without feeling embarrassed or bad about it


Stop Temporarily

STOP + infinitive: WHY you stop

You can use both "stop + ing" and "stop + infinitive" in the same sentence.


I stopped reading my book to answer my phone.


I stopped working to get a snack.


I stopped cooking to go for a walk with the tiger.


An easy way to remember the difference between stop + ing and stop + infinitve is to remember:


stop      +     to                  +     verb (infinitive)  is similar to:

stop      +     in order to   +     verb


in order to: with the purpose of doing something


I stopped walking to stare at the trees. = I stopped walking in order to stare at the trees.

Sam stopped walking (in order) to smell the flowers.

The tiger stopped walking (in order) to scratch his nose.