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  1. #1
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    Default to-infinitive or gerund?

    I've learned that to-infinitive should come after the word 'want'.
    But I found the following sentence.

    Don't drink too much. I don't want you drinking any more.

    Is it acceptable?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: to-infinitive or gerund?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstupid
    Don't drink too much. I don't want you drinking any more.

    Is it acceptable?
    Yes. It's acceptable.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: to-infinitive or gerund?

    Thank you very much, Casiopea.

    How about 'I don't want drinking any more'?

    Also acceptable?

  4. #4
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    Arrow Re: to-infinitive or gerund?

    I think the two forms occur after verb want with some difference in meaning as follows:
    1. I don't want you drinking any more.
    2. I don't want you to drink any more.
    Difference
    1. By using (V+ing) the speaker is making a general statement not talking about a specific situation.
    2. By using (to-infinitive) the speaker is talking about a specific situation not in general.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: to-infinitive or gerund?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstupid
    Thank you very much, Casiopea.

    How about 'I don't want drinking any more'?

    Also acceptable?
    You could say 'I don't want any more drinking'.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: to-infinitive or gerund?

    Thank you very much, Abdo and tdol.
    You helped me a lot.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: to-infinitive or gerund?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstupid
    Thank you very much, Casiopea.

    How about 'I don't want drinking any more'?

    Also acceptable?
    In that case, "drinking" functions as the verb's direct object, not as an object complement, so "to drink" is required. For example:

    1) I don't want you drinking. ('drinking' refers back to the direct object 'you')
    2) I don't want to drink. ('to drink' is the direct object of the verb)
    3) I don't want you to drink. ('to drink' refers back to the direct object 'you')

    "you drinking" and "you to drink" are pretty much the same in that context. Both are verbal nouns. "drinking" is a gerund, whereas "to drink" is an infinitive. Words ending in -ing tend to express an event as actualized, or having already happened before, whereas infinitives tend to express an event as unactualized, having not yet happened. For example,

    1) I don't want you drinking the same thing you drank last week. (Past ref.)
    3) I don't want you to drink when you go to the bar tonight. (Future ref.)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: to-infinitive or gerund?

    Thank you very much, Casiopea.
    I really appriciate your help.
    I read some of your answers to the same kind of other questions.
    Now I have understood that gerunds express actualized events, while inifinitives express non-actualized events, but not always, do they?

    I have believed for a long time that it is only true when you say remember + ing and remember to-infinitive. Thank you for clearing up my misunderstanding.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: to-infinitive or gerund?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstupid
    Thank you for clearing up my misunderstanding.
    You're welcome.

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