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I’m trying to link the following items into a single sentence:

  • we
  • look forward to
  • help you
  • find X

So for example, here are some ways I was thinking of doing that:

  • We look forward to help you find X.
  • We’re looking forward to help you find X.
  • We’re looking forward to helping you find X.

Well, you get the gist. I'm just unsure how to approach this issue.

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The most common form, in US English, isn't listed - We look forward to helping you find X. –  bib Jul 8 at 1:02

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Based on English grammar, after looking forward to, you're supposed to use the verb with -ing, so all the items from that list will be crossed off except #2 and #5; that are both the same as far as I can see. So that's how you should have all those phrases in one sentence.

Regarding your question about using are, the answer is yes! If the verb comes in -ing form, then you do need the to be verb beforehand.

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The expression “look forward to,” if what you are looking forward to is to be expressed in a verb, requires the gerund, an -ing form of that verb, to be the object of the preposition to—in this case helping. Since that -ing form is necessary, it might be better not to use an -ing form of the verb look as well: that is, use “We look forward to helping you find x” rather than “We are looking forward to helping you find x,” though both are perfectly grammatical. If you follow this advice, then you do not use an are. This version is not among your enumerated examples.

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