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Hi,

I'm confused about when should we use a gerund after 'to', I know that if 'to' is a preposition, then it must either be followed by a gerund or noun, the thing is, I cannot differentiate whether 'to' is a preposition or part of a to-infinitive.

One suggestion was:

"It is possible to check whether 'to' is a preposition or part of a to-infinitive: if you can put a noun or the pronoun 'it' after it, then it is a preposition and must be followed by a gerund:

I am accustomed to it (the cold).
I am accustomed to being cold."

But I don't know whether or not this suggestion holds true, as I came across some other sentences that I can put a 'noun' or 'pronoun' after 'to', but sometimes the author used infinitive.

Examples:
i. Start by committing to (*measure/ measuring) your life based on...
ii. I have agreed to (*give/ giving) you a car.
iii. I give priority to (do/ *doing) it.
iv. The secret to (get/ *getting) everything you want.
v. I object to (work/ *working) overtime.
vi. The kind of person you're committed to (become/ *becoming)

The words with asteriks are according to the original articles. I feel that I can put an 'it' after 'to' for the examples above, sounds a bit weird to me for number vi if I do so. But examples i and ii are given as to-infinitive.

The first example seems inappropriate to convert 'measure your life based on...' to a noun phrase, so I think it's okay, but the second one I think I can put it as 'I have agreed to "your proposal"' where your proposal is 'giving you a car', but the actual sentence was written otherwise.

For examples i and vi, both are 'commit to', can I use 'become' instead of 'becoming' for vi?

Please enlighten me. Thanks a lot.

Troy, as confused as he can be...
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Comments  
" I am accustomed to being cold " doesn't sound right. It means someone colds youEmotion: smile

eg I am accustomed to being scolded ( it means you are accustomed to someone scolding you )

When ' being ' is used followed by a participle, the sentence is in passive form.
Wow troy - this is a compex question, and I cant quite see what practical diff it makes for you to know this! maybe if you tried to think in terms of the meaning of the utterance, rather than seeking a universal rule, it might be easier?

English grammar is notoriously slipperly in this respect: the grammatical label a word has is decided by what function it has in its context. A word does not "own" a grammatical label in all contexts.

this is most obvious with, say, nouns and verbs,
to drink - verb - I drink my coke
a drink - noun - give me a drink

so I think that the role of "to" in your egs above is not fixed until AFTER you decide that to follow it with, either a verb (in infinitive form) or a gerund.. there must be some other pattern in the egs you quote - but I cant see it at a glance! sorry

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you are not right, whl626 - "being cold" is a safe consturction, it does not mean being colded by someone!
Thanks, Suzi. I just want to learn better English. English native speakers use it naturally without having to ponder like me, I am trying to learn a way to decide quickly either gerund or infinitive should be used when I encounter something like that again.
Thanks for helping.

Troy
Hi, whl626.

"being cold" sounds as an active form rather than passive to me. Cold is not a verb here.
Thanks anyway.

Troy
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troy i have the same question as u(can i say the same problem than you)i know that i can say im used to living in the US but how to identify the prep. is imposible for me so far,please somebody help us out,

another question ,would i say"the thing that it did to me was confusing me "or confuse me,because after "was"should go a gerund ,shouldnt it?
I know TroyEmotion: smile I just meant to say ' I am accustomed to the cold ' is right whereas ... to being cold is not.

Because based on the sentence structure we either use ' noun ' or ' gerund ' after accustomed to but while ' being ' is used it serves as a gerund in the passive form followed by a past participle. Hope it clears the airEmotion: smile
by asking around, it seems that I am wrong Emotion: stick out tongue. Some more native speakers told me that ' being cold ' is perfect.
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