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"So far, dummies have provided invaluable data on how human bodies react in crashes and have contributed greatly to [improved / improving] vehicle design."
I think both can be correct.
If the answer is 'improved(past participle)', the objective of the preposition 'to' is design.
But if the answer is 'improving', the objective of the preposition 'to' is 'improving' itself.
And the 'improving' is not present participle but gerund.
Can both be correct or only one of the two?
I'm afraid it is not.
The original text has the past participle form.
Both are possible.
Thanks for your reply.
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I think you are right. Either can be used as the object of the preposition, and "improving" in this case is a gerund - a verbal noun - not a present participle. In that instance, "design" would be an adjective and "vehicle" would thus have to be an adverb modifying it. However, I can find no dictionary use of the word "vehicle" as an adverb.
Last edited by hombre viejo; 19-Jan-2013 at 20:10. Reason: uneasy about "vehicle" use as an adverb