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  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #1

    Stop to...

    Hello guys,
    I have a question regarding the verb stop.
    Does stop + infinitive mean to stop something for a moment?
    And does stop + gerund mean to stop something forever (or at least for a long time)?

    Stop to smoke, please! -> Because we are in an anti-smoke restaurant.
    Stop smoking, please! -> Don't smoke anymore because it's harmful, expensive etc.
    He will stop to watch TV. -> Because I will be there.
    He will stop watching TV. -> He is going to sell his TV.

    Cheers!

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    #2

    Re: Stop to...

    [NOT A TEACHER AT ALL]

    Stop + gerund means to finish an action in progress:

    1) I stopped working for them because the wages were so low.
    2) Stop tickling me!

    Stop + to-infinitive means to interrupt an activity in order to do something else, so the infinitive is used to express a purpose:

    1) I stopped to have lunch. (= I was working, or travelling, and I interrupted what I was doing in order to eat.)
    2) It's difficult to concentrate on what you are doing if you have to stop to answer the phone every five minutes.

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    #3

    Re: Stop to...

    Not a teacher.

    "Stop to smoke" is not a proper command.

    "Stop smoking!" is.

    It is ambiguous. When one gives up the habit, one "stops smoking." But it can also be used as you suggest, that someone "stopped smoking" because you asked them to (temporarily).

    Same with the TV example. I can stop watching TV for a brief minute cause a pretty girl walked into the room. Or I can stop watching TV, cause I got tired of paying a lot of money every month.

    ("To stop to watch TV," means the opposite, that I stopped whatever I was doing to turn my attention to the TV. "When man landed on the moon, people across the world stopped to watch TV.")

  2. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Stop to...

    Ah, very interesting!
    I never thought that way.

    Thank you

    Cheers!

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Stop to...

    I have a diagram that may help. It's on another computer - I'll attach it later.

    b

    PS Here it is.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails stopped+gerundOrInfinitive.jpg  
    Last edited by BobK; 09-Sep-2010 at 20:49.

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