Student or Learner
Hello again! I donīt really know when it is correct to use "to + gerund".
For instance, in the following sentence I donīt understand why it is "to" instead of "of" or "from" or "suffering" instead of " suffer". It is a phrase that I have found on Internet.
"Muhammed Ali, Cher, Michael Jackson and Ronald Reagan have all admitted to suffering from the fear of something."
Thank you very much once more!
I'm not a teacher.
The word to means two different words. When it is a part of an infinitive then it is followed by the verb suffer (to suffer, e.g. He seems to suffer from headaches). But if to is a preposition it has to be followed by a noun or pronoun. The gerund (-ing form) is a form of a noun, sometimes called a verbal noun, and as such can follow the preposition to (suffering, e.g. They have all admitted to suffering from the humiliation of being forced to resign).
Note that in the sentence They have all admitted to suffering from the humiliation of being forced to resign after the preposition of we have the gerund "being", not the infinitive "to be".
I have found the next sentence:
"They admitted committing the crime". I suppose this phrase is not correct because there is no "to" between "admitted" and " committing" as the verb "to admit" requires when having such meaning. Is it?.
Let me write an example in orther to know if I have understood the subject:
"He gave in to suffering because he coudnīt stand it anymore",(except for grammatical mistakes..). Is it correct?.
I thank you so much for everything".
Last edited by for learning; 30-Dec-2009 at 20:51. Reason: little correction: They admitted...
1.Yes, this time the gerund 'suffering' is placed correctly, after the preposition to.
2. Please check if you have written the sentence "The admitted committing the crime" properly; I think it should be like that:
They admitted committing the crime.
Now, 'to admit' is a verb and the verb in English language can be follow by other verbs in the form of"to infinitive" or the gerund, but not only (there are other forms and patterns which may follow the verb).
"Admit" is followed by gerund; you can't say They admit *to commit* the crime.
The most important verbs followed by the gerund are:
admit, anticipate, appreciate, avoid, consider, defer, delay, deny, detest, dislike, dread, enjoy, escape, excuse, fancy, finish, forgive, imagine, involve, keep, loathe, mean, mind, miss, pardon, postpone, practise, prevent, propose, recollect, remember, resent, resist, risk, save, stop, suggest, understand.
Some of them may be followed by "to infinitive", e.g., "We stopped to ask the way", but in this: "Stop asking" only the gerund form is correct.
Note the difference between two sentences:
I stopped to smoke. (I stopped in order to smoke a cigarette).
I stopped smoking. (I broke the habit of smoking cigarettes; I don't smoke cigarettes any more).
See: A Practical English Grammar by A.J. Thomson and A.V. Martinet.
1) present participles. He is singing. This is a verb form.
2) gerunds. I like his singing. This is a noun form.
In your example: "... have all admitted to suffering from something ...", 'suffering' is a present participle. It is a verb form. It could be changed into a past participle with "They have all admitted to having suffered from something".
In "He gave in to suffering", 'suffering' here is a gerund (a noun). It could be changed to "Suffering overcame him". Here it is obviously the noun subject.
Sometimes it is difficult to tell whether a gerundive (an -ing form) is a verbal component (a participle) or a gerund (noun). But it is necessary to think about whether an "-ing form" is a participle or a noun because the grammar depends on this.
Note: some grammars call all '-ing' forms gerunds. This doesn't help.
Last edited by Raymott; 30-Dec-2009 at 15:52.
Hello again Omasta!.
I have been getting information about the verb "to admit" with the meaning I gave it( something like a confession) and I have found out that it could be formed with "to" or without "to", so it seems to me that the next two sentences are correct:
"They have all admitted to suffering..." and:
"They have all admitted suffering..."
I thank you for providing me with that list of verbs.
I can see that in the verb tense: "admitted to suffering"
"to" works as a preposition as you have explained perfectly. But the problem to me is to know it before reading, I mean at the moment I have to form the sentence if I am the one who is creating it. I donīt know if all the verbs which are followed by the gerund can be written with "to" like in my example or it is that "to admit to" is a phrasal verb or behaves differently than other verbs.
I thank you so much again!
In fact I thought there were no distinctions between present participles and gerunds; I thougt both were called gerunds.
Thank you very much for your explanations.
I think I have solved my doubt about " admitting to suffering" and its use of "to" as I have just explained to Omasta.
Thanks once more!