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    #1

    afford

    Hi,
    I had used gerunds after this verb (because I presumed, if nouns can follow it, why not gerunds); then I read I must only use infinitives. The other day I saw on a site either is OK (Intensive English Institute, University of Illinois).
    Now I am totally confused.
    Please, what do you know that I donít know? On this subject, that
    is.

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: afford

    I use the infinitve or a noun phrase:
    I can't a holiday.
    I can't afford to go on holiday.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: afford

    But either is possible. I can't afford to go skiing/I can't afford skiing. I'd guess the version with the gerund is less common; I think it sort of implies a noun that has the gerund as a complement: I can't afford [luxuries like] skiing.

    b


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    #4

    Re: afford

    Thanks, Tdol and Bob,
    Perhaps itís another BE-AE split.


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    #5

    Re: afford

    No; we're both BrE speakers. I wouldn't say the gerund is wrong, but even in Bob's example, it sounds strange to me and I don't think I'd ever use it.


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    #6

    Re: afford

    OK,
    Then it's safer to stick to the Infinitive.
    Thanks.

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    #7

    Re: afford

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    OK,
    Then it's safer to stick to the Infinitive.
    Thanks.
    I used Goolge to search for

    "Can't afford to do =228.000 returns
    "can't afford doing =198 returns

    "Can't afford to pay =507.000 returns
    "can't afford paying =495 returns

    Apparently to infinitive is more frequently used than gerund.
    A good corpus-based database is very useful to find out which one s more correct. But I think search engine is also very useful tool.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: afford

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    ... I'd guess the version with the gerund is less common; I think it sort of implies a noun that has the gerund as a complement: I can't afford [luxuries like] skiing.

    b
    OK, much less common, but still possible. But you're right Humble - it's safer to stick to the infinitive.

    b


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    #9

    Re: afford

    Tnx for your research, Ian - it's most convincing.

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    #10

    Re: afford

    In fact, there was a typo. It should be 507,000 returns instead of 507.000 returns. I guess you must have figured it out.

    Ian2

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