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"In fact, he thinks there are certain benefits to having a nonnative speaker as a language teacher."
I'm not sure what this sentence means, especially, why we're using 'to having' instead of 'to have' or 'of having'? Would you please explain it for me?
Here the use of 'benefits to having a ...' is similar to the 'to' in the following sentence?
"My trip to the south was of much benefit to my health."
"Having" is a gerund.
A gerund is a part of speech which is part noun and part verb.
It's easy to see the verb part since 'having' is of form of the verb 'have."
The noun part is a little more difficult. It might be a easier to see
if we change the sentence a little,
"In fact, he thinks there are certain benefits to the having of a nonnative speaker as a language teacher."
This is still a grammatically correct, if a little strange, sentence.
Now you can see that 'having' follows the article 'the' so it must function as a noun.
So you may now see that 'having' meets the definition of a gerund
Gerunds can play several roles in a sentence, one of which is as the
object of a preposition, as it does here. It is the object of the preposition
The meaning of the sentence should be much easier for you to understand.
The writer is probably going to continue by twriting about ways he/she thinks it is better (there are benefits) to have a non-native speaker as a
The simple, if not very satisfying, answer to your last question is that the sentence you quote doesn't require a gerund.
If we speak of the benefits to somebody, they are the people who enjoy the benefits. Strangely, I find that a sentence such as "I find many benefits to having a car" not as obviously unacceptable as I would have expected.
Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary)
I guess this sentence can be interpreted as 'there are many financial benefits to you in owning your own home'?
Last edited by Heidi; 10-Jun-2011 at 02:26.