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Could you please help me to catch the difference in the meaning of the following sentences (even if it is slight Emotion: smileso that I should know when to use Infinitive and when Gerund):

1. The government ceased providing free health care.

2. The government ceased to provide free health care.
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I don't detect any difference in meaning. I detect only a slight difference in style. To my ear the first example sounds casual, even slightly sloppy. The second example sounds more elegant to my ear.

CJ
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Thanks, CJ!

Just to make sure that I understand you thoroughly:
The company ceased functioning after that terrible accident. (informal)

The company ceased to function after that terrible accident. (formal)

Do we agree, sir?

Tom

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I found this in a list of whether verbs take gerunds or infinitives: "cease -- verb followed by a gerund OR an infinitive with little difference in meaning"
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I also found it on the list of the verbs that can be used either with infinitive or gerund like love, hate, like, neglect, prefer etc. But as we remember there is still a difference.

E.g. We love scuba diving. (= in general)

We love to scuba dive. (=it's a good idea)

He prefers eating at 7 PM. (= in general)

He prefers to eat at 7 PM. (=it's a good idea)

So, does this rule work for Cease?If yes, then how Emotion: sad, I cannot apply it to my example, I mean i don't understand the difference in their meaning then.
Mr. TomJust to make sure that I understand you thoroughly:

The company ceased functioning after that terrible accident. (informal)
The company ceased to function after that terrible accident. (formal)

Do we agree, sir?
I just prefer the infinitive with cease. It's a personal preference. The -ing form does sound a bit more informal to me, but you can use either one as you wish.

CJ

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/cease-to-worry-cease-worrying-gerund-infinitive.1483735/

https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/threads/266230-cease-Ving-to-V

The standard phrase is "never cease to + bare infinitive".

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.

https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/threads/266230-cease-Ving-to-V

Sometimes you can use either: 1. "The machine ceased functioning; or 2. The machine ceased to function."
So, you can assume that the following verb has some influence on the form of 'cease' that you can use.

Connotations also matter. You'll probably agree that 'cease' and 'stop' are roughly synonymous. Let's try 'stop'.
3. "She never stopped thinking about me."
4. "She never stopped to think about me."
Both of these sentences are correct, but they mean almost the opposite of each other. So, with two words as seemingly synonymous as 'cease' and 'stop' working completely differently in some cases, you can see why some of us are reluctant to agree that any two words or phrases are 'interchang...' Sorry, I can't even bring myself to say the word.

Back to the point:
5. "She never ceased thinking about me." This would generally be taken to mean the same as 3.
6. "She never ceased to think about me." This would also possibly be taken to mean the same as 3, not 4. But I would never use it, because it could easily change to a meaning of 4 with a simple adverb, or an indication of context.
7. "She was continually working long hours, and she never ceased to think about me." This probably means 4. But in speech, the intonation would be a clue to its meaning, "... she never ceased working to think of me".
8. "Even though she was continually working long hours, she never ceased to think about me." This means 3. simply because of the conjunction and the context.

I think Teo got the point.