How to use ‘stop’ with another verb is difficult to remember for some students but there is an easy way to remember how to use it correctly.
Stop + infinitive
Using ‘stop’ with the infinitive (i.e. ‘stop to…’) means pausing because there is another different action that the person or thing does.
I had to stop to think about which way to go.
Will you stop to pick up some milk on the way home?
Stop + gerund
Using stop with a gerund (‘stop ..ing something) is generally used to talk about quitting something.
The doctor told him to stop smoking.
I need to stop working so hard.
Sometimes, using ‘..ing’ verbs that are not gerunds but continuous verbs make things difficult. If the ‘~ing’ does not come at the end of the clause or is not followed by a noun phrase then you may have a case like the one below, which is stop + infinitive.
I had to stop cooking to answer the telephone.
In infinitive forms, ‘and’ often replaces ‘to’.
I had to stop and think about which way to go.
I hope you don’t need to stop to think too much about how to use this verb in the future.