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Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Grammar Questions
"the new law 'aims at' reducing crime rate"
"the new law 'aims to' reduce crime rate"
What are the differences between these two forms? Which form is more appropriate under what situation?
Approved answer (verified by Mister Micawber)
"The normal idiom is to aim at something (e.g. aim at a target, aim a blow at someone or something, aim a stone at the window, etc.). In strict British English the only part of a verb that can follow aim is the gerund (aim at doing something) but over the past few years the infinitive has been gaining ground (e.g. The council aims to build five hundred new houses this year), and perhaps ultimately we shall have to accept it, but until that time arrives it is better avoided."
For me, "ultimately" has arrived. I see nothing wrong with using the infinitive instead ofat + gerund, nor do I detect any difference in meaning.
I just saw your site and thought that you might help me. Is the verb "aim" used with "that"? Or could it be at least tried when there is no other option? For example:
The campaign aims that the water resources are protected and developed.
An answer would be much appreciated.
Anonymous:I have always found the collocation AIM AT +ing in dictionaries and grammar texts . It seems to me that colloquial English has allowed the use of TO inf in a lot of collocations that did not use to be framed like that. My theory is that the coming of other languages in co-existance with English interferes in the use of the latter and regular use customises language. Then it spreads quickly thanks to technology and it's finally accepted due to massive acquisition of the new collocation.
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