Student or Learner
could you please let me know when it is possible to use to + gerund? I wasn't accustomed to this grammar form but I found it in a newspaper.
I'm not a teacher.
“To” is a part of the infinitive. For example:
They decided to go out.
I want to play tennis.
But “to” is also a preposition. For example:
Tom went to Hawaii.
I prefer cities to the country.
He gave the book to Mary.
I’m looking forward in the weekend.
If a preposition is followed by a verb, the verb ends in –ing . For example:
Before going out I called Ann.
What did you do after leaving school?
So, if “to” is a preposition and it is followed by a verb, you must say to –ing. For example:
I prefer bicycling to driving. (not to drive)
I’m looking forward to seeing Sue again (not to see)
Jane is American, but she has lived in Britain for three years. When she first drove a car in Britain, she found it very difficulty because she had to drive on the left instead of on the right. Driving on the left was strange and difficult for her because:
She wasn’t used to it.
She wasn’t used to driving on the left.
After a lot of practice, driving of the left became less strange.
She got used to driving on the left.
Now after three years, driving on the left is no problem for her.
She is used to driving on the left.
Frank lives alone. He doesn’t mind this because he has lived alone for 15 years. So he is used to it. He is used to living alone.
Our new apartment is on the very busy street. I suppose we’ll get used in the noise, but at the moment we find it very annoying.
Fred has a new job. He has to get up much earlier – at 6&30. He finds this difficult right now because he isn’t used to getting up so early.
Notice that we say “She is used to driving on the left”. (not she is used to drive). “To” in “ be/get used to” is a preposition, not a part of the infinitive.
Frank is used to living alone. (not is used to live)
Jane had to get used to driving on the left. (not get used to drive)
Do not confuse I am used to doing (be/get used to) with “I used to do”. They are different in structure and in meaning.
I am used to (doing) something = something isn’t strange for me
I am used to the weather in this country.
I am used to driving on the left because I’ve lived in Britain a long time.
I used to do something means only that I did something regularly in the past.You can’t use this structure for the present. The structure is “I used to do” (not I am used to do).
Nowadays I usually stay in bed until late. But when I had a job, I used to get up early.