<<Mod Note. These posts have been moved from the thread about afford to verb vs afford verbing. They focus on grammatical issues that are diverting attention from the topic of the afford thread. Panj>> Many foreigners, I think. I also used to make this mistake because we can't help making a false analogy: They can't afford this car (noun)= They can't afford buying this car (gerund). Some people call gerunds nouns.