Advantage to VERSUS Downside/Drawback to

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Senior Member
Spain Spanish
As far as I know, the combination ADVANTAGE TO can be followed by an infinitive, and so in this combination, TO can be an INFINITIVE MARKER.
This is one sample from typing ADVANTAGE TO in the British National Corpus: The buoy shielded her from the view of the guards, and she used that advantage to get her breath back.

By contrast, both DOWNSIDE and DRAWBACK are followed by the preposition TO, and therefore followed by -ING.
He had wanted children for years: not having them had been the one drawback to marrying late.
The downside to registering might be that you get unsolicited mail every so often, but that practice seems to be on the decrease, and only genuine upgrades seem to be notified.

On the other hand, ADVANTAGES TO is followed by -ING:
For Elijah Moshinsky, there are great advantages to starting a show out of town.

And we also have AN ADVANTAGE TO + -ING:
I think this is rightly so, but there is an advantage to knowing to being slightly more explicit about how you're doing it,[...]

My question: Would you also use DRAWBACK and DOWNSIDE followed by an infinitive? I mean:

she used that advantage to get her breath back. :tick:
she used that downside to get her breath back. :confused:
she used that drawback to get her breath back. :confused:

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  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Those examples certainly suggest the pattern you have noted.

    I cannot say for sure that this is a universal pattern because there are underlying sentence structures at play which might not always be the same in other contexts. I cannot think of anything to illustrate that just now, though, so you could be right, it could be "the way"!

    If we are looking to put "advantage" with an -ING we probably use the prepostition: IN. "There is no advantage in waiting any longer" for example.


    Senior Member
    Spain Spanish
    On the other hand, it seems that ADVANTAGES TO is a frequent collocation, whereas DOWNSIDES TO/ DRAWBACKS TO is rare, or just wrong...
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