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    #1

    learn to drive vs learn driving

    Do the phrases 'learn to drive' and 'learn driving' mean the same or differently? I think they mean differently. If you learned to drive, you already knew how to drive, but if you learned driving, you took driving lessons but didn't necessarily knew how to drive. The same is also true of the case of 'learn to swim' vs 'learn swimming'.

    I need to make sure whether I am correct. If I am wrong, please correct me. Thank you.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: learn to drive vs learn driving

    We simply don't say "learn driving" or "learn swimming". Consider that the word "how" is omitted (it is unnecessary).

    I learned [how] to drive.
    He learned [how] to swim.

    Your understanding that "if you learned to drive, you already knew how to drive" is incorrect. When you take your first ever driving lesson, when you have no knowledge at all of how to drive, you have started to learn to drive. Hopefully, after 20 lessons or so, you will pass your driving test and become a qualified driver.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: learn to drive vs learn driving

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    We simply don't say "learn driving" or "learn swimming". Consider that the word "how" is omitted (it is unnecessary).

    I learned [how] to drive.
    He learned [how] to swim.

    Your understanding that "if you learned to drive, you already knew how to drive" is incorrect. When you take your first ever driving lesson, when you have no knowledge at all of how to drive, you have started to learn to drive. Hopefully, after 20 lessons or so, you will pass your driving test and become a qualified driver.
    Thank you so much for correcting me. Now I know that native speakers simply don't say 'learn driving' or 'learn swimming.' But does it mean that 'learn' cannot be followed by other 'V-ing words' either? Are the following two sentences correct? Thank you.

    1. She learned cooking from her mother.
    2. She learned typing in elementary school.
    Last edited by maoyueh; 23-Dec-2013 at 14:46. Reason: typo

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: learn to drive vs learn driving

    Quote Originally Posted by maoyueh View Post
    Thank you so much for correcting me. Now I know that native speakers simply don't say 'learn driving' or 'learn swimming.' But does it mean that 'drive' cannot be followed by other 'V-ing words' either? Are the following two sentences correct? Thank you.

    1. She learned cooking from her mother.
    2. She learned typing in elementary school.

    There is nothing grammatically incorrect about the originals, either. We just don't say it that way.

    I wouldn't say either of the above either.
    She learned to cook from her mother.
    She learned the art of cooking from her mother.
    She took typing in school. (Where "typing" is a class)
    She learned to type in school. (Where "typing" is a skill.)

    (I don't know of any elementary school that teaches "typing" BTW. These days, they teach word processing and other applications in middle school. In the old days, there was actually a high school class in typing.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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