Stop Doing vs Stop to Do: What is the Difference?

What is the difference between stop to do and stop doing? Stop to do or doing? How do you use stop? Stop doing vs stop to do: What’s the difference?

Stop to do something means to finish doing something so as to do something else, whereas stop doing something means to finish doing something or quit something.

As you can see, stop to do and stop doing (stop doing vs stop to do) have different meanings. The examples below along with explanations will definitely help you have a sound understanding of the difference between the two structures (stop to do vs stop doing).

Have a look at these two sentences.

  1. He stopped eating his lunch.
  2. He stopped to eat his lunch.

What’s the difference?

Sentence 1 means that he was eating lunch and he stopped the action of eating. (maybe he stopped eating his lunch to perform an action like answering the phone, opening the door…)

Sentence 2 means that he was doing something (e.g. driving, working, etc.) and he stopped in order to eat.

Stop Doing vs Stop to Do/ Stop to Do or Stop Doing

Now, look at these two sentences. We have stop + gerund (ing form) and stop + to-infinitive. So what is the difference between ‘I stopped to smoke’ and ‘I stopped smoking.’

  1. I stopped smoking.
  2. I stopped to smoke.

Sentence 1 means I used to smoke, but now I don’t smoke anymore. I have given up (= quit) smoking.

Sentence 1 also means I stopped the action of smoking, maybe, to start doing something else.

Sentence 2 means I was doing something but I stopped doing it so as to smoke.  In other words, I stopped for a purpose, which was smoking.

 

Stop doing vs stop to do
Stop doing vs stop to do

How Do You Use Stop?

These are some important tips on how to use ‘stop to do’ and ‘stop doing’

  • We use ‘stop + gerund (verb+ing)’ to show that an action stops.
  • We use ‘stop + infinitive with to’ to show that we stop an action so as to start a different one.

Stop Doing Examples

  • I stopped doing karate and I have taken up Tae Kwon Do.
  • I stop going to the gym.

Stop Doing or Stop to Do Exercise

What’s the difference between the two sentences below?

  1. My child stopped playing.
  2. My child stopped to play.

Sentence 1 means……………………

Sentence 2 means…………………….

You may also like to know the difference between Remember and Remind

Learn English online with Englishdotcom