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    #1

    Gerund/Infinintive (Are you distinguishing noun form verbs in O.E. instinctively?)

    The exact title should be "Gerund and Infinintive (Are you distinguishing these 2 noun forms of verbs in O.E. instinctively?)"

    This is my way of teaching English: Infinitive "To" and Gerund in case of "Look(ing) forward to (Gerund)"

    Infinitive "To" is actually Preposition "To." And a verb in form of infinitive is actually object of the Preposition "To." This (verb infinitive form) is known as noun form of verbs in Old English. So, since Gerund (action nominal (-Ing form verb) ) is also noun form of verbs, there are no such enormous differences between Infinitive (action to be taken expressed with the verb) and Gerund (action itself expressed by the verb.)
    Then when you think of the phrase "look(ing) forward to (Gerund)," you can easily detect the logic. A Preposition calls for an object in its nature, and the verb is action expressed by the verb itself rather than something to be done in the future.

    I was fooled by my high school teacher and class mates only because I couldn't prove this by quoting Old English. Their insistence remains the same even by today: this is an exception and that's why this "To" shown in the phrase "Look(ing) forward to (Gerund)" is Preposition never Infinitive because you can't "put" Infinitive after this "Preposition" To.


    You never learn this sort of common sense in any high schools or universities in Japan perhaps except you will intensify yourself in study of Old English at graduate school of a highly regarded linguistics university like Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. I studied this both by my instinct and then confirming it by reading so many linguistics books. That's the main problem in English education in Japan.


    The below is the same thing.


    In Japan, English teachers are still forcing their students to memorize by telling lies although there existed special types of verbs that only "take" Infinitive (want/hope/wish/decide/ etc.) and that only "take" Gerund (enjoy/finish/stop/ etc.). Logically thinking, this is a simply crazy idea! They should master Preposition first before Infinitive.

    Images of To and For:
    ------>[object] is to
    --->---[object] is for

    Besides, they force to memorize their students sentences like below (by calling the latter is "Adverb-like-usage of Infinitive To" - this is direct translation from any English grammar books written in Japanese.)

    He stopped laughing.
    he stopped to laugh.

    By now you may well comprehend why the Japanese PM(s) or even head(s) of Bank of Japan cannot speak/write English.
    Even the top elite business people seldom can or write English fluently (if otherwise, they are most likely products of TOEFL or TOEIC either of which is meaningless IM Honest - caution: I am not a humble person - O.)
    A student at the University of Chicago graduate school once asked my Chicago Symphony Orchestra friend, "Why did you get acquainted with each other?" Of course, this made my friend mad. That guy was thinking in Japanese apparently. And in that case, his usage of "Why" is somewhere in between. Thus, I do believe that too much TOEFL dependant exams is dangerous. All they have to do is memorize but think.

    See the case of current Governor of the Bank of Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda (Watch the latter half Q & A only.)

    Still, my question here is "Gerund and Infinintive (Are you native speakers distinguishing these 2 noun forms of verbs in O.E. instinctively?)"
    Thanks, in advance.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Gerund/Infinintive (Are you distinguishing noun form verbs in O.E. instinctively?

    I don't think anyone pronounces Old English instinctively. It's a dead language. It has to be learned specifically. Almost no English native speaker would have the shadow of a clue about how to pronounce Old English.

    PS: I think you're trying to address too much in one question.
    Last edited by Raymott; 14-Apr-2015 at 12:06.

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    #3

    Re: Gerund/Infinintive (Are you distinguishing noun form verbs in O.E. instinctively?

    I agree with Raymott. Also, the grammatical peculiarities of prepositions -- try understanding French ones, which are even less logical -- are not why people in Japan find it hard to speak English. The reason is that there is so little tradition of language study in Japan that people incorrectly think of it as a form of mathematical learning; the rules of a foreign algebra. This approach completely bypasses the human language centre -- which is equipped with 'software' to learn languages extremely rapidly, if you speak it with your mouth, to communicate with a community.

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    #4

    Re: Gerund/Infinintive (Are you distinguishing noun form verbs in O.E. instinctively?

    Thank you for your answer, Raymott. Yes, I can understand that. BBC/PBS 1986 production "Story of English" hosted by Robert MacNeil is, I think, well enough to explain your viewpoint. But, with regard to its grammar (I am talking about Modern one), aren't many people detecting something instinctively and unconsciously, are you?

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    #5

    Re: Gerund/Infinintive (Are you distinguishing noun form verbs in O.E. instinctively?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshiyuki Mukudai View Post
    But, with regard to its grammar (I am talking about Modern one), aren't many people detecting something instinctively and unconsciously, are you?
    Yes, with regard to modern English and the use of either the infinitive or the gerund, I am certainly choosing instinctively. There's no other way a native speaker could do it. If I were learning a second language, say Spanish, I would have to think about it until I learnt the typical structures. Then it would become instinctive, and I'd probably make the odd mistake.

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    #6

    Re: Gerund/Infinintive (Are you distinguishing noun form verbs in O.E. instinctively?

    Then, Raymott, what do you think of the way of Japanese English education system (please do judge it from examples I have submitted here and from your knowledge about it)? My students are saying my way of explanation is easy to understand. And, they soon will get skills to easily pass entrance exams for highly ranked universities (in Japan.)

    Incidentally, I am speaking Russian a little. But, likewise your experiences, I am making many odd mistakes. Here is an example I wrote for my Russian friend in Chicago for her birthday message. "Дорогая [her name], С наилучшими пожеланиями, для теб! Для тебя удача в Чикаго!" Although I repeatedly checked my grammar books (Russian-English and Russian-Japanese) with heavy Oxford Russian-English English-Russian dictionary, "Для тебя удача" seems incorrect possibly for my choice of "Для" as "for" in English. I googled this over and over again, but the result was this.
    https://www.google.ru/#newwindow=1&q=%22для+тебя+удача%22
    Google translate suggested me "Для ваших удачи в Чикаго!" instead. But, "ваших" is grammatically incorrect.
    https://www.google.ru/?gws_rd=ssl#ne...095;и%22
    At least, she could easily find out what I meant, but choice of Preposition is difficult... "для теб" is correct and "Для тебя удача" is incorrect...

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    #7

    Re: Gerund/Infinintive (Are you distinguishing noun form verbs in O.E. instinctively?

    Thanks for asking but, although I teach English, I'm no expert on the art of pedagogy.
    I do agree that teaching English shouldn't be based on preparing students for exams though. I also agree that many 'lies' are told in the guise of rules that only work for basic English.
    If your students like the way you teach, and if they are learning as well as others, then I believe you should continue to teach as you have been.

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