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    #1

    Gerund or Infinitive as a Complement

    s1. My dream is to become a teacher.
    s2. My dream is becoming a teacher.

    I think both s1 and s2 are right.

    s3. My hobby is to play tennis.
    s4. My hobby is playing tennis.

    But s3 is incorrect.
    I wonder if the subject doesn't determine which is the complement.
    Is there any grammar rules?
    If there is, which nouns can have gerund or infinitive or both as a complement?
    How about 'My wish is becoming a teacher' or 'My job is to sell used cars'?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And one more question.

    s5. My dream is a teacher.

    is s5 grammatically correct?
    I think it should be "My dream is to be a teacher."

  1. SlickVic9000's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Gerund or Infinitive as a Complement

    (not a teacher)

    Not sure I'd say S3 is wrong, but I will say that it's not the way I would express that thought.
    And yes, S5 is incorrect. Your suggested correction is acceptable.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Gerund or Infinitive as a Complement

    "My wish is becoming a teacher" is not natural English.

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    #4

    Re: Gerund or Infinitive as a Complement

    Quote Originally Posted by pseudo View Post
    any grammar rules?
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello,

    I love rules, too. So I did some googling and found two "rules."

    1. One very popular and reliable website * says that the infinitive "is often a complement used to help define an abstract

    noun." Abstract nouns would include such words as "desire," "plan," and "wish." I think that "dream" is abstract, too, don't

    you? ("abstract" = an idea that you cannot physically touch)

    a. So if we follow this "rule," then we would have to say "My dream is to become a teacher."

    *****

    2. The second source ** had a nice "rule," too.

    a. Use the gerund if you are referring to reality, a fact, actual experience -- in the present or past.

    i. Driving his own car costs a lost of money. = It is a fact that he has a car. It is a fact that it costs a lot of money for gasoline, etc.

    b. Use the infinitive if you are referring to a possibility, an idea, a hope, a dream or a goal.

    i. To drive his own car is his great dream. = He does not actually have a car. It is just his dream.

    *****

    Thus:

    1. My dream is to become a teacher.
    2. To become a teacher is my dream.
    3. Becoming a teacher is my dream.

    NOTES:

    a. No. 1 is the one that almost all native speakers would prefer.
    b. Some people feel that No. 2 sounds more formal than No. 3.
    c. Yes, No. 3 uses a gerund even though it is only a dream. So it "breaks" the rule that I discussed above.
    As you can guess, those "rules" have exceptions. But they give you a general idea.


    James


    * grammar.ccc.comnet.edu.

    ** Tenth Week Verbals: Gerund or Infinitive (on the Web).

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    #5

    Re: Gerund or Infinitive as a Complement

    Thank you for your reply.
    Koreans sometimes says like s5.
    I think "My dream is to be a teacher." is logically right.

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    #6

    Re: Gerund or Infinitive as a Complement

    Thank you for your reply.^^

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    #7

    Re: Gerund or Infinitive as a Complement

    Paradoxically, I feel rules make me free.
    I cannot thank you enough for your detailed explanation.

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    #8

    Re: Gerund or Infinitive as a Complement

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello,


    I feel that you are spot on: rules make me feel free, too. We humans need order.

    James

    P.S. "Spot on" is a Britishism that means something like "absolutely right." I love the sound of that expression!

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    #9

    Re: Gerund or Infinitive as a Complement

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    We humans need order.
    opinion matter is . That a of

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