Learn English – ny difference between “endure + gerund” and “endure + infinitive”


Many if not all sources state that to endure is followed by a gerund.

In OALD, however, there's an example for both:

endure doing something He can't endure being defeated.
endure to do something He can't endure to be defeated.

I search the Internet but didn't find any other reliable sources that second this.

I checked COCA and found out the use of infinitive has indeed less frequency, but actually the results for both are so little (47:25) that I wouldn't say that this gives any conclusion.

Anyhow, my question is if there's a subtle difference between using gerund or infinitive?
And can anyone explain why all sources (that discuss gerund vs infinitive) state that endure is followed by a gerund, although infinitive is possible as well?

Best Answer

I guess I can answer my question myself.

There is a subtle difference between gerund and infinitive. It's just a matter of talking about real or possible experiences.

I can't endure having cats in my house.

This sentence basically indicates that I don't like having any cats in my house in general and you can be sure that I don't have any cats (in my house).

I can't endure to have cats in my house when my grandchild spends a weekend at my house.

This sentence indicates that I may have cats and, if so, that they probably live in my house. But for some reason I dislike having them in my house when my grandchild is around. Probably, they've got an allergy to cats.