Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 468
    #1

    To followed by a gerund

    Could I use "to maintain" instead of a gerund after the preposition "to" in the following sentence?

    This is important to maintaining public confidence in the institutions that mean so much to our way of life.

    Is there any way to distinguish "to-infinitive" from "to-prepostion" in a sentence to avoid any misue of the word that follows? Thank you for your advice.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #2

    Re: To followed by a gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    Could I use "to maintain" instead of a gerund after the preposition "to" in the following sentence?

    This is important to maintaining public confidence in the institutions that mean so much to our way of life.

    Is there any way to distinguish "to-infinitive" from "to-prepostion" in a sentence to avoid any misue of the word that follows? Thank you for your advice.
    I think "to" is a poor choice there, and I think it's seldom used.

    This is important in maintaining public confidence ...
    - This gives the idea that the speaker was thinking of "the task of maintaining"
    This is an important factor in the task of maintaining public confidence ...

    This is important for maintaining public confidence ...
    - This gives the idea that the speaker is thinking of "maintaining" as an ongoing event
    This is important as we go about maintaining public confidence ...

    Another way to say this is
    This is important to maintain public confidence ...
    - This uses "to" in its sense of "in order to"
    This is important in order to maintain public confidence ..
    -


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886
    #3

    Re: To followed by a gerund

    "This is important + infinitive clause" is a very frequent construction.

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 5,158
    #4

    Re: To followed by a gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    Could I use "to maintain" instead of a gerund after the preposition "to" in the following sentence?

    This is important to maintaining public confidence in the institutions that mean so much to our way of life.

    Is there any way to distinguish "to-infinitive" from "to-prepostion" in a sentence to avoid any misue of the word that follows? Thank you for your advice.
    You do see it in such phrases as "In addition to maintaining order, the Royal Mounted Police attempted to facilitate migration....." But here the gerund acts as a noun, and is not easily replaced by the infinitive. Cf. I broke my bicycle while riding too fast.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Gerund or no gerund after verbs of perception
    By Filip in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 02-May-2009, 03:44
  2. infinitive vs. gerund
    By blue_jay975 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 21-Apr-2008, 10:27
  3. use of th gerund
    By bieasy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Aug-2007, 02:16
  4. Gerund Diagramming Help
    By Tyler07 in forum Analysing and Diagramming Sentences
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-Mar-2007, 22:33
  5. Gerund or Present Participle?
    By atm in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Dec-2006, 14:55

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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