To accuse / Accusing> another agent is ... [Infinitive vs Gerund]

Fumiko Take

Senior Member
Vietnamese
I'm confused about what difference would it make when using these two as subjects or objects. For example:
"Your father's death came as a shock to all of us. But to accuse (or Accusing?) another agent is a serious allegation." (to the one who's bringing an accusation)
"Being (or To be?) hit by a car makes hime lose some memory."
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, Fumiko.
    "Your father's death came as a shock to all of us. But to accuse (or Accusing?) another agent is a serious allegation." (to the one who's bringing an accusation)
    It is normal to use "accusing" in a sentence like yours: But accusing your neighbors of theft is serious.

    You can use "to accuse" in a sentence, but it would be unusual to place that phrase immediately after "but" in that sentence. Here is a different sentence that uses "to accuse" normally: It is wrong to accuse people of things that they have not done.
    "Being (or To be?) hit by a car makes hime lose some memory."
    Being hit by a car made him lose some of his memory.

    PS By the way, the infinitives you are asking about are regular or "to" infinitives because you used the infinitive together with the word "to". Bare infinitives don't use "to": I saw him go down that path thirty minutes ago.
     
    Last edited:

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Often there's no difference in their use. In your first sentence, they're equally good to me, because it's a general statement. To accuse someone of causing death is a serious matter. Accusing someone of causing death is a serious matter. That's true at any time, not just for this one accusation. Your second sentence is a little odd, so I'll change it slightly:

    [specific occasion]
    Being hit by a car made him lose some of his memory.

    [general truth]
    Being hit by a car can make you lose some of your memory.
    To be hit by a car can make you lose some of your memory.
     
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