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Engligh Grammar: How to use "to" before an "-ing" verb

September 5, 2016

 

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Hi there. My name is Emma, and in today's video, we are going to talk about

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something many students wonder about, and that is when we use "to" and "ing" together.

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Sorry.

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Okay, so for example... Yeah: "What???" Many students, when they see this, it "poof" their minds;

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they have no idea: What is this? It goes against all the rules they've learned. So I'm going

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to explain to you when this happens, and how we can use it. So, let's look at some examples.

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This is the most common example of this you will see:

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"I look forward to meeting you."

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Notice we have our verb: "look forward", and then we have this little guy, here, "to",

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and then we also have "ing". Okay?

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So, in this case, it's very strange. We're going

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to learn about why this is in a moment, but before we do that, I want to tell you some

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of the basic rules so you can understand, first off: What am I talking about with "ing",

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and what am I talking about with "to"?

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So let's look at the basic rules. This is all about when you have two verbs in a sentence.

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For example: "thank" is the first verb, and "help" is the second verb. Okay?

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What you will notice in English, the first rule is:

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Any time you have a preposition between the first verb and the second,

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you're going to use "ing". A preposition is a word like "for",

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"to", "about", "toward", "up", "down", "in", "out", all of these words that kind of tell

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us where something is located, these are called "prepositions". So, whenever you see a preposition

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after a verb, this next verb is going to end in "ing".

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So our example here: "I thank you for helping me."

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Similarly, we have our verb: "interested", "I'm interested", so this is the verb. And

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we have a second verb: "learn". So, if we have a preposition after the first verb:

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"I'm interested in", you're going to see that the second verb is going to end in "ing".

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"I'm interested in learning English."

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So we don't say: "I'm interested in to learn English."

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Similarly, we don't say: "I thank you to help me."

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If you have a preposition like "for",

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"in", "out", you are going to have the second verb with "ing".

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Okay, some verbs... These are verbs without prepositions.

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If we have two verbs and there's

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no preposition between them, they will be either verb with a second verb ending in "ing",

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or a verb plus the second verb beginning in "to".

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So let's look at some examples so you understand what I'm talking about.

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Okay, I have here the verb "enjoy". Here's my first verb.

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Think of a second verb we can use. Let's say "eat".

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With the verb "enjoy", the verb that follows is always going to end

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in "ing". "I enjoy eating.",

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"I enjoy reading.", "I enjoy listening to music.",

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"I enjoy shopping."

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Okay? So, in this case, all... The second verb will always end in "ing".

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We have another example, here: "I started".

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"I started", let's think of a verb, any verb. "Fish".

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"I started fishing." So, again, this is the first verb, here's the second verb,

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second verb ends in "ing". I en-... Or: "I started drinking.",

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"I started eating my dinner." Okay?

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Then we also have some verbs that you will see... Here's the first verb: "decided".

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The second verb does not end in "ing". "I decided to", what's a verb we can use here?

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"Watch".

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"I decided to watch TV." Okay?

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"I want to

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eat ice cream."

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So, in this case, we have two verbs-so verb one, verb two; verb one, verb two

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-the second verb begins with the word "to".

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Now, other teachers on engVid have already covered this information.

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What you will notice is that some verbs are always like this, some verbs are always like this,

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and some verbs do both.

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It's pretty much you have to memorize: When is it "ing"...? Sorry. "ing", and when

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is it "to"? What we're really interested in today is this, this really confusing thing:

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Why is it "ing" and "to"? All right?

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So let's look at some more examples of this, and I

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will tell you the rule on when we use "ing" and "to" together.

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Okay, so I've explained to you the three rules we use when we have two verbs together. Okay?

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Sometimes you have a verb followed by "ing", sometimes you have a verb followed by "to",

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and in the case of prepositions, you have a verb followed by "ing". So I've taught you

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these three rules. Now we're going to look at when we have both "ing" and "to" together.

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Okay? So, "ing" and "to" together.

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So in this case, we have two verbs. The first verb is: "I look forward to".

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The second verb is: "meeting". Okay? So we have two verbs.

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In this case, "to" is acting as a preposition.

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Okay? So just like what we said before with "up", "down", "in", "out",

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in this case, "to" is a preposition. This is actually a phrasal verb.

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It's actually almost like it's the same

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verb. "To" is a part of "look forward". You can't have: "I look forward meeting". No.

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"To" is a part of the verb. So, in this case because it's a phrasal verb and "to" is a

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preposition, "meeting" is going to have "ing".

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Another way to look at this is if you look at this next example:

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"I look forward to ice cream."

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In this case, we only have one verb. We have "look forward to", this is the verb,

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"ice cream". We don't have a second verb; instead, we have a noun.

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This is fine. This is the test you can do. If "to" can be followed only by a noun,

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then we know that it's actually

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a part of the verb. Okay?

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So: "I look forward to ice cream." I can do this with "to", but

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I can't say: "I hope to ice cream." In this case, this does not work; "to" is separate,

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so we... It's separate from "hope", so we could say instead: "I hope to eat",

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you'd need to add a verb, here. "I need to eat ice cream."

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So in this case, "to" is a part of it, it's a preposition;

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in this case, when we have two verbs, "to" is separating them.

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So they're two different cases.

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Let's look at some more examples.

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"You will get used to living here."

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We have the verb "get used to",

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it's considered like one chunk: "get used to". It's a phrasal verb. And then

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we have our second verb.

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"You will get used to living here." We have "to" and we also

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have "ing". In this case, "to" is a preposition, and that's why it is followed by a verb with

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"ing". "Get used to" means to become accustomed to. Okay? So, for example, some of my students

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have come to Canada, and at first the cold is very terrible in the wintertime, they hate

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the cold, but they get used to it, and then the cold is no problem; they get accustomed

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to it. Again, just like with this, we could change this to a noun. I could say:

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"You will get used to winter.",

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"You will get used to English."

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Or I can have a verb. Both are possible,

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so we know that this is a chunk.

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We have another example: Judge Judy.

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"Judge Judy objects to lying."

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"Objects" means she

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gets angry, she does not approve; she disapproves of lying.

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So, again, we have "to"

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and we have "ing" together.

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The verb is "objects to", it's one unit. And "lying" is our second verb.

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Okay?

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A third example: "I resorted to stealing." Okay?

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"I resorted to stealing."

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or "I confessed to stealing."

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If you resort to something, it means although you didn't really want to

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do it, you had to do it. So, for example, imagine I have a big test and I know I'm going

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to fail, so I decide to cheat. I resorted to cheating.

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Usually we resort to doing something bad.

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So: "I resorted to stealing." Again, we have "to", and we have "ing".

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The reason we have both is "resorted" and "to" are a unit;

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they go together. They always go together,

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so we can't say: "I resort stealing", it's always: "I resorted to stealing."

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Same with the word "confess". If you confess to something, it means you tell someone what you did wrong.

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Okay, so: "I confessed to stealing." So, again, just like "resorted to",

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"confessed to", it's

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one unit. Okay? So these words go together. "To", in this case, is a proposition,

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"confess to" is a phrasal verb, so afterwards, "stealing" is going to end in "ing".

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Okay, our final example:

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"I'm opposed to living in Antarctica."

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This means: "I'm against living in Antarctica."

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I don't know why I'm against it. I mean, I guess I hate the cold, although

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I love penguins. I'm going to say:

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"I'm opposed to living in Antarctica."

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Now, "I'm opposed to",

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it's a unit; it goes together. It's a phrasal verb. So, this means that it's a verb

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that always has "to" as a preposition.

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So, because "to" is a preposition, the verb afterwards

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is going to have "ing".

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So: "I'm opposed to living in Antarctica.",

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"I'm opposed to drinking and driving.",

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"I'm opposed to doing drugs." Okay?

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So, again, I could even get rid of this

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and use a noun, I could say: "I'm opposed to drugs.",

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"I'm opposed to doing drugs."

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All right, so again, key here: Sometimes we have "to" and "ing" together between a verb.

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We do this when we have "to" as a phrasal verb, and "to" is acting as a preposition.

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All right, so I hope you come visit our website at www.engvid.com.

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There, you can do a quiz to make sure that you understand this video, and that you

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have mastered the concepts in it.

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You'll also see a lot more examples of when we use "to" and "ing".

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So until next time, thank you for watching and take care.

 

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