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    #1

    Is it possible to use a verb in its gerund form after the preposition TO?

    Dear members and teachers:


    Knowing full well as an English student that there are verbs which have the preposition TO inhered to them without changing their meanings; they are usually accompanied by this preposition as a combination, just like: ''confess'' (to), ''adjust'' (to), ''devote'' (to), ''object'' (to); three-word phrasal verbs, such as, ''look forward to'', and ''get used to'' that also end with the preposition TO; adjectives plus the preposition TO as a combination, as in (be)''adictted to'', (be) ''commited to'', (be) ''oppossed to'', (be) ''devoted to'', (be) ''used to'', and nouns plus preposition TO combination, ''adicttion to'', ''dedication to'', ''devotion to'', ''reaction to'', etc.

    Those phrasal verbs, as well as verbs, adjectives and nouns combinations, when followed by another verb must be in its gerund form. Other than this rule, I have always had the grammar curiosiry if a verb may be used in its gerund form (ing) after the preposition TO. If yes, I would like to know how this is called.

    A native american whom I know it has a high standard usage and knowledge of the american English (AmE), wrote the following:


    a) ''Neither William nor Arthur has shown any inclination whatsoever to cleaning up around the house''.


    QUESTION:

    1) Is the verb ''clean up'' in its gerund form grammatically correct after the preposition to, or the above sentence must be written as shown below?

    b) Neither William nor Arthur has shown any inclination whatsoever to clean around the house up.

    c) Neither William nor Arthur has shown any inclination whatsoever to clean up around the house.


    I ask for your help and assistance about my grammar curiosity.


    Regards.
    Last edited by The apprentice; 16-Jul-2014 at 22:14. Reason: Misspelling and editing.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Is it possible to use a verb in its gerund form after the preposition TO?

    c) Neither William nor Arthur has shown any inclination to clean up around the house. This is the only one acceptable to me.

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    #3

    Re: Is it possible to use a verb in its gerund form after the preposition TO?

    First I am not a native speaker of English.

    'be inclined to' is one of the phrasal verbs which is followed by a verb of infinitive form.
    'inclination to' is also the same.

    FYI, in 'prefer A to B', you can use a gerund form verb and not an infinitive form verb after the preposition 'to', meaning 'like A better than B'.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Is it possible to use a verb in its gerund form after the preposition TO?

    Quote Originally Posted by misschip View Post
    First I am not a native speaker of English.

    'be inclined to' is one of the phrasal verbs which is followed by a verb of infinitive form.
    'inclination to' is also the same.

    FYI, in 'prefer A to B', you can use a gerund form verb and not an infinitive form verb after the preposition 'to', meaning 'like A better than B'.
    "be inclined" is not a phrasal verb.

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    #5

    Re: Is it possible to use a verb in its gerund form after the preposition TO?

    Thank you Misschip for your feedback.

    I forgot to say that not all the verbs which have the preposition TO as a combination must be in its gerund form when followed by a verb, but I disagree with you regarding (a), (b) and (c). I would rather use (b) or (c), preferably the option (c) as Bhaisahab stated.

    I chose (c) because there are some phrasal verbs that are inseparable, and I think that ''clean up'' is one of them
    Last edited by The apprentice; 11-May-2014 at 20:27.

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    #6

    Re: Is it possible to use a verb in its gerund form after the preposition TO?

    Thanks a lot Bhaisahab.

    I find your reply is the appropiate one. Like some other members, I have also noticed that you're good at giving grammatical answers, are you a linguist or a grammarian?


    So far I rate this web site as the best one in assisting those who have particular questions to ask as well as those who want to clear up his/her doubts in regards to the English language.
    Last edited by The apprentice; 11-May-2014 at 20:38.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Is it possible to use a verb in its gerund form after the preposition TO?

    Quote Originally Posted by The apprentice View Post
    I would rather use (b) or (c), preferably the option (c) as Bhaisahab stated.
    I chose (c) because there are some phrasal verbs that are inseparable, and I think that ''clean up'' is one of them
    Out of b and c, c is the only possible choice. We don't say, "to clean around the house up". "Clean up" is seperable, but you can't put just anything between the elements.
    "Clean up your room" is correct. "Clean your room up" is also acceptable. But "clean around the house up" would be very unusual.

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    #8

    Re: Is it possible to use a verb in its gerund form after the preposition TO?

    First of all, there is a lot of disagreement about what is and what is not a phrasal verb. There is a conservative view which holds that a phrasal verb must be an idiom. It must have a meaning that is different from what one would get from the words themselves. The more liberal view tends to include many additional common verb phrases that contain a preposition or an adverb. I lean toward the conservative view. Otherwise lists of phrasal verbs go on forever.

    Most of the examples you gave are regular phrases made up of a verb plus the preposition "to". If I say that John is addicted to drugs, it is not an idiom. Others that are not idioms include "John confessed to murdering the bank teller" and "Mary admitted to cheating on the test". The word "to" is just a preposition, not part of a phrasal verb.

    So to answer your question, I would say that is very common for a gerund to follow a verb + the preposition "to". It is called a verb plus a preposition phrase (in which a gerund is the object of the preposition).

    She is devoted to raising her children the right way.
    He objected to tabling the motion.

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    #9

    Re: Is it possible to use a verb in its gerund form after the preposition TO?

    "be inclined" is not a phrasal verb.
    =======================
    To bhaisahab

    Thanks for pointing out my mistake.
    I was a little confused.

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    #10

    Re: Is it possible to use a verb in its gerund form after the preposition TO?

    Quote Originally Posted by The apprentice View Post
    Thank you Misschip for your feedback.

    I forgot to say that not all the verbs which have the preposition TO as a combination must be in its gerund form when followed by a verb, but I disagree with you regarding (a), (b) and (c). I would rather use (b) or (c), preferably the option (c) as Bhaisahab stated.

    I chose (c) because there are some phrasal verbs that are inseparable, and I think that ''clean up'' is one of them
    When I said
    'be inclined to' is one of the phrasal verbs which is followed by a verb of infinitive form
    It means 'be inclined to' should be used like (b) or (c), NOT (a).
    I said infinitive form, and NOT gerund form.

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