commit money to improving the Health Service


Hi there,

Can anyone help on this sentence:

The government cannot commit any more money to improving the National Health Service. (Longman dictionary)

My question is why it is in -ing form?

I understand that it acts as a non, just like in:

It cannot commit any more money to schools.

However, when we replace the verb "commit" with other words, I guess the right form becomes "to do".

I cannot provide any money to do that. (this may be a bad example, but we only care about grammar here.)

The government cannot allocate any money to improve the schools.

Similar situation is with the phrase "I am looking forward to seeing you." compared with "I expect to see you."

Is this "to do/to doing" thing particular to the usage of some words or it actually has some deeper reasons in grammar.
  • Michel09

    Senior Member
    français - France
    I do not know if the answer you seek will be as simple as one might expect.

    The -ing in your primary example simply makes more sense, especially in conversation. The -ing denotes a verbal action, as do most -ing endings in English. "Improving" would imply that the government has already spent money to improve the National Health Service. Thus, it cannot spend any more to improve it... I really do not know of any other way to put it than that.

    Also, "I am looking forward to see you" just does not make as much sense, to me, as "I am looking forward to seeing you." The "seeing", again is a verbal action, which requires the -ing. To see is an action, yes, but seeing you is a specific action.
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