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Thread: to know?

  1. #1
    tilly Guest

    Default to know?

    Most of the time we use the verb "know" as an infinitve, correct? Like- "to know someone", right? So why do we use it as a gerund sometimes? What is the difference between "to know" and "knowing"? When do we use it as an infinitive and when do we use it as a gerund?
    thank you!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: to know?

    Quote Originally Posted by tilly
    Most of the time we use the verb "know" as an infinitve, correct? Like- "to know someone", right? So why do we use it as a gerund sometimes? What is the difference between "to know" and "knowing"? When do we use it as an infinitive and when do we use it as a gerund?
    thank you!
    I believe it's a matter of (a) their position in the sentence and (b) their semantic content.

    Parallel Structures:
    EX: To know him is to love him.

    Adverbial phrases, wherein the words 'in order' has been omitted:
    EX: (In order) to know what to do, you have to read the manual.
    EX: You have to read the manual (in order) to know what to do.

    Gerund:
    EX: Knowing that s/he loves me makes me happy.

    to-infinitives express a event that hasn't yet happened, whereas -ing words express an event that has happened. For example,

    EX: To know him is to love him. (The person I am speaking to doesn't love him because s/he doesn't really know him)

    EX: Knowing him is why I love him. (I know him, and that's why I love him.)

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