I look forward to talking...hearing...discussing

Discussion in 'English Only' started by yancy, May 29, 2008.

  1. yancy Senior Member

    Puerto Rico Spanish
    Can I please know why is it that in this instances the verb needs to carry the ING ending? It looks and sounds awkward to me because it carries the infinitive marker to.. Shall it be to talk and not to talking?
  2. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I read this phrase as a shortened version of "I look forward to [the experience] of talking to you."

    It is not the actual speaking (transfer of information) but the experience of speaking with the subject that you are looking forward to.

    The pleasure is in the process of speaking with the subject.
  3. yancy Senior Member

    Puerto Rico Spanish
    Is it grammatically correct though or the correct for will be
    I look forward to TALK to you? Is it more a linguistic variation?
  4. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I am looking forward to talking with you.

    I am looking forward to our talk.

    The above sound fine, your suggestion sounds incorrect to me.
  5. cycloneviv

    cycloneviv Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    English - Australia
    This statement by Elroy, from an earlier thread on this subject, may help to explain why you cannot use "look forward to talk":

    "This "to" is not part of an infinitive; it is a regular preposition that needs to be followed by a noun or a pronoun.

    I look forward to the party.
    I look forward to that.
    I look forward to working with you.

    Here are a couple of earlier threads on the subject, which might be helpful to you:

    Look forward to
    "look forward to working"
  6. yancy Senior Member

    Puerto Rico Spanish
    Perfect answer cycloneviv...I was looking for that grammatical input ...if to is the preposition then int makes perfect sense to me...thank u both
  7. johnp

    johnp Senior Member

    Yes, "look forward to" is an idiom and as cycloneviv says, "to" is a preposition. The "ing" forms of the verbs is a gerund acting as a noun and can therefore be the object of the preposition "to." Infinitives can act as nouns, too, but it would be awkward to say "I look forward to to talk to you."
  8. eadsd New Member

    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    English - US
    "I look forward to speaking with you" is a common, natural idiom I use.

    Another would be "I look forward to seeing you [Saturday]"

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