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    #1

    ''TO'' treated as a preposition when followed by a verb.

    Dear members and friends:

    If ''to'' is neither part of a three-word phasal verb nor part of an infinitive one, it's indeed a preposition, which must be followed by a verb in its ''ing'' form.


    I admit that I still don't know how to recognize ''to'' as a preposition when followed by a verb as below; I tend to confuse it as part of an infinitive verb.


    (a) «Of course, there are some disadvantages TO working for non-profit and public organizations.»


    (b) «Seventeen secrets TO improving your listening skills in English.»


    QUESTION


    Can you please let me know how to identify ''to'' as a preposition when followed by a verb?


    By the way, does ''which must be followed by a verb in its ''ing'' form'' have to be separated it by a comma?

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: ''TO'' treated as a preposition when followed by a verb.

    An infinitive always uses the bare from of a verb, never an -ing form. So when "to" is followed by the base form of a verb, it is an infinitive. There should not be a lot of confusion with "to" as a preposition, which precedes a noun or a pronoun.

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    #3

    Re: ''TO'' treated as a preposition when followed by a verb.

    Thank you MikeNewYork for answering.

    I'm clearly aware of a verb in its infinitive form, but I don't know how to identify when ''to'' is a preposition which requires a verb in its base form; herein lies my confusion.

    I still find it difficult to indentify the preposition ''to'' when it's followed by a verb. As I stated above, I tend to confuse it as a particle of a verb in its infinitive form. Regarding cases of preposition collocations and phrases, I don't have any problem in knowing when ''to'' is followed by either ''to do something'' or ''to doing something'' as:


    (I°) Be inclined to do something.


    (II°) Get used to doing something.


    If the preposition ''for'' can be used in lieu of ''to'', it means that ''to'' is a preposition also, not an infinitive particle, doesn't it?


    (1) Eighteen advices to learning English.


    (2) Eighteen advices for learning English?

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: ''TO'' treated as a preposition when followed by a verb.

    As I wrote earlier, "to learning" can never be an infinitive.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: ''TO'' treated as a preposition when followed by a verb.

    Quote Originally Posted by The apprentice View Post
    Can you please let me know how to identify ''to'' as a preposition when followed by a verb?
    One tip is to try to replace the verb with a noun. If you can do that, you have a preposition and need the -ing form:

    I look forward to see/seeing you.
    I look forward to your visit.
    I look forward to seeing you.

    I am used to drive/driving on the left now.
    I am used to the cold now.
    I am used to driving on the left now.

    I used to drink/drinking too much.
    I used to beer,
    I used to drink too much.

    This test is not infallible, and it works only if you know that a noun works, but it may help.

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    #6

    Re: ''TO'' treated as a preposition when followed by a verb.

    Maybe I'm not getting my point across


    (a) «Of course, there are some disadvantages TO working for non-profit and public organizations.»


    (b) «Seventeen secrets TO improving your listening skills in English.»

    The preposition ''to'' in not part of the verbs above. This is what I want to learn to identify; I'm familiar with the use of gerund in three-word phrasal verbs having ''to'' in them.

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    #7

    Re: ''TO'' treated as a preposition when followed by a verb.

    Quote Originally Posted by The apprentice View Post
    The preposition ''to'' in not part of the verbs above. This is what I want to learn to identify; I'm familiar with the use of gerund in three-word phrasal verbs having ''to'' in them.
    That's what I tried to help with.

    Try the noun test.

    There are some advantages to non-profit organizations.
    Seventeen secrets to success.


    They work. 'To' is a preposition. se the -ing form

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