He stopped to smoke. vs He stopped smoking | I stopped smoking and I stopped to smoke.🤔

Chapter (XX)

What is the difference between ‘stopped to smoke’ and ‘stopped smoking’? :thinking:

Please make sure you have learnt what a gerund (verb+ ing) or infinitive (to + verb) is.
See the post below.

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What you will learn in this Chapter.

  • When should you use a gerund?
  • When should you use an infinitive instead of a gerund?
  • The difference in meaning between a gerund and an infinitive.


I stopped smoking and I stopped to smoke is one of those many sentences under the gerund and infinitive topic that confuse many students, however, in this post I settle this confusion.

Please keep on reading.

1.He stopped to smoke.

This means that ‘he’ was doing something, but he felt the urge of a cigarette, so he stopped all what he was doing, and took out or bought a cigarette and started to smoke. (to smoke is an infinitive i.e to + verb and the action is always done after the verb stop)

2.He stopped smoking.

He quit smoking. He doesn’t smoke any more.
Here, smoking is a gerund ( any gerund after verb stop is done first)
Another example

  1. She stopped drinking on her wedding day. She quit ‘drinking’. (This is not past continuous)
    Now for,
    She stopped to drink on her wedding day. Is very different meaning, she stopped at a shop or bar for a drink. :bride_with_veil:Imagine that!

As you can see in the above example the meaning changes when you use a gerund or infinitive after a the verb stop
Hope this helped see a video I did on the same topic link below.

Please watch this video for more explanation on the same.

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Try this practice to cement the principle.