to letting

teacherdehnavi

Senior Member
Persian
I don't know if there would be some instances like the sentence below that we can use gerund after preposition "to"
Please let me know if there are more exceptions.

That's apparently the drawback to letting people send money that way.
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    The gerund is, for most purposes, a noun. The object of a preposition is always a noun (i.e. a substantive of some sort.)
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    You would end up with this sentence ...

    "That's apparently the drawback: to let people send money that way."

    I don't know what that could mean, but that would be the syntax, where "to let people send money that way" is the drawback, as opposed to "letting people send money that way" being what gives rise to the drawback in the original sentence.
     
    There is an old thread on this, and it kind of wanders into translation issues, but Forero in post #9 answered the question. Yes, 'to' plus gerund is possible.

    to plus gerund

    My example, based on Forero's points: He admitted to killing the cat.

    As to the OP sentence, "That's the drawback to letting people send money that way," it is passable.

    Lingo answered the substitution question ("to let", instead of "letting") in post # 4.

    One reason is that, as Paul said, "drawback to" has to be followed by a noun, since 'to' is a preposition. Now, an infinitive can be a noun, but that would require another 'to' after 'drawback to'.

    Altering the sentence to eliminate the issue: To let people send money this way would be a drawback {disadvantage, mistake, bit of foolishness, etc.}. "mistake" works nicely :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited:

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    There's nothing wrong with a gerund accidentally following "to",
    but there isn't a construction that consists of "to" + gerund.
    The "to" belongs to the word that precedes it, and is used for connecting to a following noun (or noun phrase);
    and since the gerund is the verb form that behaves like a noun, that following noun phrase may be based on a gerund.
    "There are drawbacks to that plan." The noun phrase "that plan" can be replaced by a gerund phrase, such as "letting people spend..."
    "He admitted to that crime." The noun phrase "that crime" can be replaced by the gerund phrase "killing the cat".
     
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