Bezig zijn met [iets te] koken.

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ottaviocr

Senior Member
UK
Italian
I'd like to understand how to use "bezig met" with infinitives.

Why is "te" used with the infinitive in:

1) Zij is bezig te koken

2) Zij is bezig iets te koken

3) Zij is bezig met iets te koken

but:

4) Zij is bezig met koken.

I'm trying to see if there is a pattern and I wonder why there's no "te" in the last sentence. I also wonder why I've never seen such a sentence:

"Zij is ermee bezig iets te koken"

which would sound more natural to me, unless they are all correct but have a different meaning.
 
  • ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    II would not use complex infinitives (inf. + object, I mean) with "bezig (met") and go for continuous: "Zij is een maaltijd aan het klaarmaken." "Bezig met" + (just) inf. is perfect, though. Your last sentence does not work, I'd say, though your grammatical reasoning is perfect. I mean: it is not idiomatic...
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    II would not use complex infinitives (inf. + object, I mean) with "bezig (met) V". Go for continuous: "Zij is een maaltijd aan het klaarmaken."

    "Bezig met" + (just) inf. is perfect, though: Ik ben bezig met schrijven, but again: more common will be "Ik ben aan het schrijven."

    Your last sentence does not work, I'd say, though your grammatical reasoning is perfect. I mean: it is not idiomatic to use that empty object here ("ermee"). Some other verbs do allow for that kind of object, but not "bezig zijn", I'd say. For instance:
    Hij is ervan overtuigd dat hij .../
    Hij is er zeker van dat hij zal slagen/ slightly less common: Hij is er zeker van te zullen slagen.
     
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