So would this be another example of the "speaking" being the gerund in English, but in Spanish it uses the infinitive?
I'm trying to learn the difference between the gerund and present participle, since I never before knew that they were two seperate things!
I believe that I'm starting to get the hang of it at this stage now.
You're right, aga, avoid is a transitive verb so it has to have an object (a noun, a pronoun, a noun phrase, or a gerund - a gerund IS a noun, function-wise). So, as rspreng explained, infinitives like this are normally used in place of an -ing form (¡No fumár! = No smoking!) -- in Spanish. But we're translating to English, so we use to+Verb+Gerund. Incidentally, avoid is one of those not-too-many verbs that we DO NOT follow with a -to+verb things. For example, we can say "I like TO DANCE." or "I like DANCING.", but we can't say "I enjoy TO DANCE." We can only say "I enjoy DANCING." The verbs enjoy and avoid fall in the same category.
@12345ann: banshees.beat's question is a very valid one, and his is a reasonable question. hablar is an infinitive, and so is to talk, so yeah, he's right in distinguishing the Gerund vs the Present Participle (each has different functions in an English sentence). But then, rspreng is right, too, that it's awkward to say to avoid to talk in English; it should be "to avoid TALKING. I guess this is why Duo gave the "to avoid talking as the right answer because that is how you would actually say it in English.