Lesson 46 verbs after “forget”

Choose the correct answers:

  1. When people get old, they often forget __________ (to do, doing) things they have planned. For example, when my grandmother goes shopping, she frequently forgets __________ (to buy, buying) one or two items.
  2. Meanwhile, old people tend to say the same things over and over.  My grandmother often forgets __________ (to tell, telling) me the same stories of her youth, but I listen to her patiently every time.


The verb “forget” can be followed by both an infinitive (to + base verb) and a gerund (verb-ing), with very different meanings.

forget + to + base verb (infinitive): forget before the action; the action not performed

forget + verb-ing (gerund): forget after the action; the action performed but forgotten

  • In Sentence #1, forget + infinitive. Old people often forget their plans. In my grandmother’s case, she does not buy a few items because she forgets about them. “Forgetting” occurs before “doing” and “buying”.
  • In Sentence #2, forget + gerund. My grandmother has repeated the same stories because she forgets that she has told me many times. “Forgetting” occurs after “telling”.



While I was clearing my closet one day, I saw my green sweater. I was stunned and upset.  I had just brought another green sweater! I had forgotten __________ (to buy, buying) it a year before and __________ (to put, putting) it in the closet. Now I have two green sweaters with the same style.  My sister, on the other hand, was pleased.  “Don’t forget __________ (to share, sharing) one of your sweaters when I go to the birthday party next week. I love that color and style!” She said excitedly.




to do; to buy; telling

buying; putting; to share