infintive or gerund

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navi

Banned
armenian
Which are correct:
1-Read books was what I did.
2-To read books was what I did.
3-Reading books was what I wanted to do.

4-Read books was what I wanted to do.

5-To read books was what I wanted to do.
6-Reading books was what I wanted to do.

I think (but I am not sure) that 1 and 4 are the best and 2 and 5 are acceptable. I think that if the predicate was 'what I was doing' or 'what I wanted to be doing' than one would start the sentence with 'Reading books'.

In other words, I think these are correct:7-Reading books was what I was doing.
8-Reading books was what I wanted to be doing.

As usual, I am not sure, or else I wouldn't be asking!
 
  • Juuuergen

    Senior Member
    American English
    All of these sentences sound a little awkward in my opinion, but 3 and 6 (which are exactly the same if you didn't notice) sound best. Using infinitives and gerunds in this manner (that is, infinitive/gerund + to be + subordinate clause) doesn't sound good typically.

    The best way to go about expressing this thought is to simply say "I wanted to read."
     

    saajan_92

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (BrE), Spanish & Gujarati
    3) Did you mean "Reading books was what I did"?

    I would agree with Juuuergen, in that 3 and 6 sound the best, i.e. gerund + to be + subordinate clause.

    However, it does still sound awkward!

    Hope this helps! xx
     

    cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    I disagree about 3 and 6 sounding best, but do agree that all of these sound awkward. Turning these sentences around, it is clear, to me at least, which option is best (and the "correct" one sounds much better this way around).

    What I did was read books.
    What I did was to read books.
    What I did was reading books.

    What I wanted to do was read books.
    What I wanted to do was to read books.
    What I wanted to do was reading books.
     

    Grumpy Old Man

    Senior Member
    I agree with the previous posters with regard to the awkwardness of the sentences. I would just like to point out that Nos. 1 and 4 are ungrammatical as a plain/bare infinitive cannot serve as the subject of a clause at all.
     
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