Did you know that you can use an infinitive (to + VERB) or a gerund (VERBing) as the subject of a sentence in English? It’s true, but you need to be careful of when you make the choice.
The gerund is used as the subject of a sentence in everyday, usual English, like this:
- Studying English every day is the best way to improve.
- Exercising is important for staying healthy.
- Waiting for a bus on a hot day is pretty uncomfortable.
The infinitive is used as a subject of a sentence when you are talking about abstract or philosophical ideas:
- To be or not to be. That is the question. (Shakespeare was speaking philosophically)
- To love another person would be out of the question.
- To spend time in the garden is relaxing for the mind and the body.
Unless you want to sound like a philosopher or Shakespeare, it is best to use the gerund as the subject of a sentence. Compare these:
- Working hard is the best way to advance in the company. (This sounds like natural English)
- To work hard is the best way to advance in the company. (This is unnatural and sounds too philosophical)
How about you? Is studying English fun? Leave a comment below and let us know!