believe that to be / being well-dressed

eli7

Senior Member
Persian (Farsi)
"Some people believe that to be / being well-dressed is a sign of prestige, but it's not the only factor that matters."

should we use an infinitive or gerund here? and what is the reason?
 
  • eli7

    Senior Member
    Persian (Farsi)
    I understand the choice of "to be" because the verb after "believe" must be infinitive. But I don't understand why "being" can be correct? You mean the verb after believe can come in gerund form?
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    I understand the choice of "to be" because the verb after "believe" must be infinitive. But I don't understand why "being" can be correct? You mean the verb after believe can come in gerund form?
    Sure it can, e.g. "I believe that having a lot of money won't necessarily make you happy."
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Well, Eli, if you are looking for a grammar explanation:
    I don't know what you mean by "the verb after believe must be infinitive". In your example to be/being have nothing to do with the verb "believe" because after "believe" you have "that". "That" introduces a new clause. This new clause has a subject, which I have coloured in blue:
    Some people believe that to be / being well-dressed is a sign of prestige.

    Now, depending on whether you choose "to be" or "being", the phrase that acts as a subject is either an infinitive or gerund phrase:
    being well-dressed - gerund phrase
    to be well-dressed - infinitive phrase

    Both types of phrases, gerund or infinitive, can be a subject (as they are here), an object, a subject complement, etc. In other words, those phrases do not depend directly on the verb "believe", as, instead of "believe" you could have a number of other verbs, e.g. know, suppose, assume...
     
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