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I have read in a newspaper, the writer is using 'to becoming'.

eg: "We're on track to becoming developed nation."

Is this sentence really correct?

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3 Answers 3

It would have to be to becoming a developed nation.

To clarify, the reason is that in this sentence, "to" is being used not as part of an infinitive (like "to talk," for example). It's a simple preposition; the sentence could be recast into something like "We're getting closer to the state of being a developed nation."

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It might help to think of becoming a developed nation as a place, like London. It's a similar construction. –  Matt Эллен Feb 20 '11 at 10:20
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Another big clue that this is what's going on is that you can do "nouny" things with becoming, such as adding a possessive: "I look forward to our becoming a developed nation". –  Kosmonaut Feb 20 '11 at 17:21

The main issue here is that there are two main forms of the on track… phrase, one taking a noun (with for), one taking an infinitive:

We’re on track for our development goals next year.

We’re on track to reach our development goals next year.

The first of these, the for form, can be used with any noun phrase, so in particular works fine with a gerund:

We’re on track for reaching our development goals next year.

(‘Gerund’ means that reaching… here is acting as a noun phrase. Compare, for instance, “Reaching our development goals will be wonderful!”)

The main problem with the example you give is that becoming is a gerund, so becoming a developed county acts as a noun phrase, but on track to isn’t usually used with noun phrases — on track for is much more common. So you would not usually write or say either of:

?We’re on track to our development goals next year

?We’re on track to reaching our development goals next year.

In general, though, to is fine with a gerund, anywhere you could use to with a noun phrase:

We’re very close to reaching our development goals.

[There’s also a second, unrelated, much simpler issue in your sentence: it should be “becoming a developed nation.”]

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The problem with this answer is that (at least according to Ngrams) people don't use "on track for" with gerunds. I've checked this with several verbs, and none of them registered on Ngrams. I don't think it's ungrammatical; just unidiomatic. –  Peter Shor Apr 15 at 15:43

"Becoming a developed nation -- we're on track to it."

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