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  1. #1
    carla guaraldi is offline Member
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    infinitive or gerund?

    Could you tell me when to use the infinitive or the gerund as the subject of a sentence?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Re: infinitive or gerund?

    Quote Originally Posted by carla guaraldi
    Could you tell me when to use the infinitive or the gerund as the subject of a sentence?
    Thanks
    That would depend on what you were trying to say. In many cases, the "infinitve" is a bit stiff, when used as a subject. There are times when it is preferred, however.

    Infinitives often create the sense of "potential action" or an abstraction. Gerunds often imply "concrete/real action" or process.

    To love another person is to experience every emotion.
    Loving another person is experiencing every emotion.

    Which is better? I would choose the first. This is an abstraction.

    To own a yacht is to throw one's money in the ocean.
    Owning a yacht is throwing one's money in the ocean.

    I prefer the second here. One gets more pain from the real action created by a gerund.

    Does that help at all? :wink:

  3. #3
    carla guaraldi is offline Member
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    Re: infinitive or gerund?

    Thanks a lot Mike it has helped me, but could you give me some more
    information about it?

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Re: infinitive or gerund?

    Quote Originally Posted by carla guaraldi
    Thanks a lot Mike it has helped me, but could you give me some more
    information about it?
    I've run out of ideas. What else do you want to know? :?

  5. #5
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'd go with Mike's ideas, to be honest.

  6. #6
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I'd go with Mike's ideas,to be hoest.
    :wink:

  7. #7
    carla guaraldi is offline Member
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    What do you mean by potential actions?

  8. #8
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carla guaraldi
    What do you mean by potential actions?
    Those would be things one could or is thinking about. A concrete action is one that is actually being done.

    I like to eat pizza.

    This is a concept. It is a statement about what one likes when one has the opportunity.

    I like eating pizza.

    This focuses on the actual act of eating pizza.

    It is a minor difference, since pizza is liked in both cases.

    There is more information here:

    http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/verbs.htm#gerunds

  9. #9
    carla guaraldi is offline Member
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    thanks very much for your help :D

  10. #10
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carla guaraldi
    thanks very much for your help :D
    You're very welcome. :wink:

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