Student or Learner
this is a very famous sentence but i wonder if it is grammatically correct.
could i say "being or not being"?
isn't that true that when we start a sentence with a verb we must put it in the gerund form?
A "gerund" is actually a verb that has transformed itself into a noun. Shopping is fun, for example. (We can also say: I like to do the shopping -- notice the "the" in that sentence, because "shopping" is like a noun.)
But we can have an infinitive with "to" at the beginning of a sentence.
Often it makes no difference to the meaning, although the gerund usually sounds more natural. To shop can be fun.
"To be or not to be" can be translated as: "Should I [continue to] exist or not?"
"Being or not being" doesn't quite have the same sense of "should I...?" It's a very subtle change, and one you should not be worried about. Just know that "To be or not to be" is grammatically acceptable, although it is not a sentence in the strict sense because it has no finite verb (only two infinitives acting as sort of honorary nouns).