Gerunds are Verbs that end in "-ing". They should not be confused with present participles. Although present participles are Verb Forms that end in "-ing", they are active action words that are happening right now. Gerunds are verb forms that act as nouns in a sentence with no reference to time. Infinitives are verbs combined with the word "to": to see, to run, to start, etc.
Verbs Followed by Gerunds
When a gerund follows a verb, it is acting as a noun form.
The beach allows swimming at night.
My doctor encourages exercising a few times a week.
The bathroom needs cleaning.
We prefer staying in a hotel.
This school requires passing an ESL test.
Verbs Followed by Noun + Infinitives
Nouns + Infinitives
People to swim
Our family to exercise
Someone to clean
Our friends to stay
Students to pass
The beach allows people to swim at night.
My doctor encourages our family to exercise a few times a week.
The bathroom needs someone to clean it.
We prefer our friends to stay in a hotel.
This school requires students to pass an ESL test.