Which of the following sentences is grammatically accurate? And may I know why?
-The best start to learning English.
-The best start to learn English.
Hi Dr. Ibrahim,svartnik,
Many thanks for the responses. I do grant the point made by svartnik, yes neither of them is a sentence, but then again, is the following sentence is gramatically accurtate? I have a hunch it is not, but fail to explain, so would any one of you care to help me please?
-The best start to learn English is to buy a good learner English dictironary.
I'd modify the sentence, like this,
The best way to start learning English is to buy a good English language learner's dictionary.
Don't you ever try to modify my sentences!
Yes cas, one can modify the original sentence in many ways, true enough,
but my question is, can it be "...to learn...." or should it be "...to learning..."
Give it a try, would you?
Start to learn English
Start learning English
Your problem is using start as a noun. If you drop it you have the following:
To learn English... (infinitive as the subject: implies theory
Learning English .. (Gerund as the subject: implies experience).
I hope I understood your quest.
I do agree with every thing you say. There are alternative ways of expresing the same idea. You know what? my question in fact stems from a phrase which is on the front cover of "Cambridge Elementary Learners Dictionary". There it reads as "The best start to learning English". So it has to be nothing but dead accurate. But my question is then, is it wrong to say "The best start to learn English". Sounds correct, doesn't it? Anyway, there should be a clear gramatical explanation, as I have noted several instances where after noun+to, gerend is used rather than "to infinitive": for instance;
-This is a new approach to learning languages. (an example sentence given in the Oxford Elementary Learners Dictionary,ISBN 0-19-564047-0, Page 15, left 4th row.)
Put a noun or a pronoun after to if it makes sense it is a preposition and takes the gerund if not it is part of the infinitive. This is because gerund is a verbal noun and can only be substituted by a noun or a pronoun:
The best start to it (the English language). (makes sense so to is a preposition and takes the gerund only).
See the following article I wrote some time ago:
Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 18-Jun-2007 at 10:04.