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  1. #1
    CarloSsS's Avatar
    CarloSsS is offline Senior Member
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    nothing better than to + verb

    Is it all right to use infinitive form in the following structure? I'd use gerund without any hesitations, but I wonder if infinitive form is also possible, albeit much less frequent.

    There's nothing better than to live near the ocean.

    Instead of:

    There's nothing better than living near the ocean.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  2. #2
    Grumpy's Avatar
    Grumpy is offline Senior Member
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    Re: nothing better than to + verb

    You may use either, as you feel the context demands.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  3. #3
    CarloSsS's Avatar
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    Re: nothing better than to + verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    You may use either, as you feel the context demands.
    I'm not sure I follow you. Could you give an example of a context in which infinitive is better and one in which gerund is more suitable? Or is there a difference in meaning, in which case I'd like to ask, what difference is that?
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  4. #4
    Grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: nothing better than to + verb

    For me, it's purely a matter of style. The gerund is the "normal" form, that most people (myself included) use 90% of the time. I think that the infinitive, because it is used less often, carries more of an impact. So I use it when I am trying to make a particular impression on the reader.

    For example: talking about a trivial matter, I'd probably say "There's nothing better than living near the ocean". However, on a more sombre topic, I'd use "There's nothing nobler than to die for one's friends".
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

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