The Grammar GuideVerbsWhat verb form should you use after "consider" and "imagine"? Infinitive or gerund?

What verb form should you use after "consider" and "imagine"? Infinitive or gerund?

What verb form should you use after "consider" and "imagine"? Infinitive or gerund?

Consider can be followed either by a noun or a gerund (the "-ing" form of a verb used as a noun).

  • They will consider the suggestions.
  • I considered working.
  • She considers going to the dentist.

Imagine can be followed by a noun, gerund, or that-clause.

  • I can't imagine a larger dog than a mastiff.
  • I can't imagine working harder.
  • I can't imagine that she's telling the truth.

In both cases, when a verb directly follows consider or imagine, you should use the gerund form, not the infinitive:

  • You should consider writing to him more often.
  • It's easy to imagine winning the lottery, which is why I keep playing it.

    A gerund is the -ing form of a verb that acts as a noun. When certain verbs are followed by other verbs, the second verb needs to be in gerund form. Consider and imagine are two verbs that must be followed by a gerund if the second word is a verb.


Consider can be followed by a noun, a that-clause, or a gerund. Here are some examples.

Followed by a noun

  • Please consider the facts.
  • I have considered your offer.

Followed by a that-clause

  • I wish my boss would consider that I have children when he makes the schedule.
  • You should consider that she might not feel the same way about you.

Followed by a gerund

  • Have you considered taking a painting class?
  • I will consider going back to work when my kids are in school.

Consider cannot be followed by any other form of verb besides a gerund.

  • Incorrect: He considered to change his major to biology.
  • Correct: He considered changing his major to biology.


Imagine functions like consider. It must be followed by a noun, that-clause, or gerund. It cannot be followed by any other verb form.

Followed by a noun

  • Imagine a world with no internet.
  • I like to imagine a future where I’m rich.

Followed by a that-clause

  • She imagined that she was a princess.
  • Let’s take a minute and imagine that you get the part.

Followed by a gerund

  • Sometimes I imagine winning the lottery.
  • He imagined running his own business since he was a boy.
Dictionary Definition of considerDictionary Definition of imagine

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