Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Interested in / interested to ?

    I recently had a private correspondence with philadelphia about the preposition following be interested. We are both moderately satisfied with my answer to her initial question, but we would like to know what others think. I've cut out a bit, but I fear it's still rather long:

    philadelphia: As a foreigner, I'd like to know why you wrote "I'd be interested to see what others think about this" instead of "[...] interested in seeing [...]" in the thread named "Don't even think about". Is it a typo? Could it be correct?

    fivejedjon: That got me thinking hard.

    Quirk et al claim that when the head of an emotive adjective clause (commonly a participial adjective) and the infinitive clause express causation, the adjective is followed by a to- infinitive clause.

    This suggests that: I was interested to learn that you were a foreigner implies: I was interested because I learnt that you were a foreigner.


    I'd be interested to see what others think about this.

    Perhaps 'd (would) implies politeness as in: I would be grateful if you lent/could lend me £100. So my underlined sentence can be paraphrased as: I'd be interested if I saw/could see what others think/thought about this, implying: I would be interested because I would be able to see what others think.

    This makes sense if we consider these alternatives:

    a. I was interested to see her. ( I saw her. That interested me.)
    b. I was interested in seeing her.
    (At that point I had NOT seen her. I wanted to see her.)
    Here there appears to me to be a clear difference. This may be because the sentences are talking about a past-time situation, so we know whether the seeing took place or not. The same is true of a present situation:

    c. I am interested to hear what you say. ( I am hearing [or: I have recently heard] what you say. This interests me.)
    d. I am interested in hearing what you say. ( I have NOT yet heard this. I want to hear.)

    Now letís try a future situation:

    e
    . I will be interested to hear..
    f. I will be interested in hearingÖ

    I feel that [e] implies that I think I will hear, and that this will interest me. [f] implies that I (will) want to hear, but there is no certainty that I will hear. Because it is a future situation, and there can therefore be no absolute certainty of my hearing, there is less difference in meaning between the two sentences than for past and present situations. Also, I think, because of this, the [e] (to-construction) is more likely.

    My original sentence is slightly misleading because I used would rather than will, but perhaps this was only for distancing/politeness/diffidence reasons. I was clearly talking about the future.

    philadelphia: Concerning English tests, 'in' would seem to be by far the only correct answer.

    fivejedjon: You are probably right, because the implied meaning of want to in interested in is more common than the implied meaning of because in interested to.

    I feel that I have not expressed myself very clearly in that, but it makes some sense to me.

    Iíd /Iíll be interested to hear your views. I (now) am interested in learning more about this. ??

  2. #2
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    775
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Interested in / interested to ?

    What if it was a typo?

    "It'd be interesting to see what others think."

  3. #3
    Tullia's Avatar
    Tullia is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    628
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Interested in / interested to ?

    Interesting! I don't think there is a hard and fast rule, and I can think of some examples where I think the two options both seem reasonably natural.

    However I came up with these two examples:


    a. I would be interested to learn if this is correct.
    b. I would be interested in learning why I am wrong.



    I'm not sure about "causation"; for me it seems to be more about the focus of the interest, and possibly also "duration" of the activity.

    In the first example above, I am interested to learn "if I am correct"; the focus is the end result, the knowledge itself, not the process or activity of learning. It's also an activity with a defined end point, very concrete and closed off.

    In the second example above, I am interested in learning "why I am wrong"; the focus is the learning process or activity itself. It's a more open ended action as well.

    Trying it with another couple of phrases, I have bolded the option which seems more natural to me each time, and it seems to work reasonably well:

    I would be interested to see if it works.
    I would be interested in seeing if it works.

    I would be interested to see how it works.
    I would be interested in seeing how it works.


    I'd like to hear people's thoughts on this though :)
    Last edited by Tullia; 20-Oct-2010 at 23:04.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Interested in / interested to ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullia View Post

    However I came up with these two examples:


    a. I would be interested to learn if this is correct.
    b. I would be interestinged in learning why I am wrong.

    ...
    In the first second example above, I am interested to learn "why I am wrong"; the focus is the learning process or activity itself. It's a more open ended action as well.
    I'll have to think about that. Before I do, could you please confirm that you made a couple of slips, which I have ventured to correct? (If you have, I am relieved to discover that I am not the only one who can do things like that)

  5. #5
    Tullia's Avatar
    Tullia is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    628
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Interested in / interested to ?

    Ugh, copy paste fail, corrected. Thanks. This is what happens when I post while at work, get distracted half way and forget to proof read. Oh well, no work after Friday! (And probably no posting either, which might be for the best.)

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,591
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Interested in / interested to ?

    I think it's the wrong question. "Interested" is only involved by the accidental choice of example. The real issue is with the difference of use between "to verb" and "verbing", which, several months ago, was the topic of every second post.

    I was shocked/saddened to hear he died. / I was shocked/saddened on hearing he died.
    I was excited to be given the chance. / I was excited on being given the chance.
    I was afraid to tell him, / I was afraid of telling him.
    I was annoyed to hear he was fired. / I was annoyed on hearing he was fired.

    What I'm suggesting is that "interested" isn't a special case, and that investigating similar cases might lead to a more useful conclusion. (And it might not).

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,591
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Interested in / interested to ?

    philadelphia: Concerning English tests, 'in' would seem to be by far the only correct answer.

    fivejedjon: You are probably right,
    It can't be "by far" the only correct answer. It's either the only correct answer or it isn't. It could be "by far" the best answer, if others were also correct.

  8. #8
    Ever Student's Avatar
    Ever Student is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,059
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Interested in / interested to ?

    Hi everybody,

    May I give my idea to students like me?

    I have read about "interested in" and "interested to" in Raymond Murphy's book. He says that we use "interested to" especially with learn/see/hear/know/read.

    The structure is the same as surprised to/delighted to ...etc.

    We use afraid to do sth for things we do intentionally. we do not use afraid of doing sth we do intentionally.

  9. #9
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Interested in / interested to ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    [COLOR=#000080][B]
    It can't be "by far" the only correct answer. It's either the only correct answer or it isn't. It could be "by far" the best answer, if others were also correct.
    You are absolutely right, Raymott. You might be interested to know (?) that I 'read' philadelphia's answer mentally as 'best'. I didn't notice the solecism until you pointed it out.

Similar Threads

  1. I'm very interested in
    By kenic in forum Analysing and Diagramming Sentences
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 23-Dec-2009, 13:08
  2. [Vocabulary] interested in
    By uktous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 30-Nov-2009, 08:27
  3. interested
    By Nightmare85 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 26-Nov-2009, 12:44
  4. interested on how to
    By Offroad in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 17-Sep-2009, 22:19
  5. Interested WITH
    By ripley in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Jan-2005, 21:47

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •