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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    infinitive vs -ing form

    Hello, I'm from France, I'm quite keen on English linguistics and grammar, but too many points are total mystery, not only for me but everyone I think, especially since not a single teacher or linguist (I am one myself) have ever explained the real choice when choosing the simple form vs the -ing or progressive so-called, I'd like to have a serious chat with a teacher or linguist or other who knows a lot about this subject, thanking you,

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: infinitive vs -ing form

    Welcome to the forum.

    For the sake of other learners who might read this thread, please post some example sentences demonstrating situations where you don't know whether to choose the "simple/-ing/progressive".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: infinitive vs -ing form

    Quote Originally Posted by mandel View Post
    Hello, I'm from France, I'm quite keen on English linguistics and grammar, but too many points are total mystery, not only for me but everyone I think, especially since not a single teacher or linguist (I am one myself) have ever explained the real choice when choosing the simple form vs the -ing or progressive so-called, I'd like to have a serious chat with a teacher or linguist or other who knows a lot about this subject, thanking you,
    Your confusion may be partly due to the Latin gerund and gerundive being amalgamated into one and the same gerund in English:
    "Writing is my favorite pastime." The gerund functions as a noun, the subject of a sentence. French would use the infinitive, écrire.
    "I hurt my hand while writing an exam for three hours." The gerund is more like verb within an adverbial phrase. French would use the gérondif, [tout] en écrivant. The use of the infinitive in the first instance (reminiscent of French) is often possible, but is strictly literary. To sleep, perchance to dream.

    So you have three similar choices. Unfortunately, only 'intellectual' statements with 'intellectual' verbs can use the third (the infinitive), and still sound natural.
    Generally speaking.

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