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nothing better than to + verb

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CarloSsS

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Is it all right to use infinitive form in the following structure? I'd use gerund without any hesitations, but I wonder if infinitive form is also possible, albeit much less frequent.

There's nothing better than to live near the ocean.

Instead of:

There's nothing better than living near the ocean.
 

Grumpy

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You may use either, as you feel the context demands.
 

CarloSsS

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You may use either, as you feel the context demands.
I'm not sure I follow you. Could you give an example of a context in which infinitive is better and one in which gerund is more suitable? Or is there a difference in meaning, in which case I'd like to ask, what difference is that?
 

Grumpy

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For me, it's purely a matter of style. The gerund is the "normal" form, that most people (myself included) use 90% of the time. I think that the infinitive, because it is used less often, carries more of an impact. So I use it when I am trying to make a particular impression on the reader.

For example: talking about a trivial matter, I'd probably say "There's nothing better than living near the ocean". However, on a more sombre topic, I'd use "There's nothing nobler than to die for one's friends".
 
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