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      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Apr 2004
    • Posts: 296
    #1

    infinitive/gerund

    Hi there,
    "The point of the lesson is to compare the two countries."
    Could you tell me why the infinitive is used in that sentence and not the gerund?
    I've been told to use the gerund for the subject and object in a sentence, but I've seen the infinitive being used in many cases.
    Is there a rule to follow relating to this?
    Thank you for the help


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886
    #2

    Re: infinitive/gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by carla guaraldi View Post
    Hi there,
    "The point of the lesson is to compare the two countries."
    Could you tell me why the infinitive is used in that sentence and not the gerund?
    I've been told to use the gerund for the subject and object in a sentence, but I've seen the infinitive being used in many cases.
    Is there a rule to follow relating to this?
    Thank you for the help
    Both gerunds and infinitives can be used as the subject or the complement of a sentence. However, as subjects or complements, gerunds usually sound more like normal, spoken English, whereas infinitives sound more abstract. In the following sentences, gerunds sound more natural and would be more common in everyday English. Infinitives emphasize the possibility or potential for something and sound more philosophical. If this sounds confusing, just remember that 90% of the time, you will use a gerund as the subject or complement of a sentence.

    Examples:

    * Learning is important. normal subject
    * To learn is important. abstract subject - less common
    * The most important thing is learning. normal complement
    * The most important thing is to learn. abstract complement - less common

    ENGLISH PAGE - Gerunds and Infinitives Part 1

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