Which of the following is grammatical?

  • To see my stuff at your grocery is a great source of pride!
  • Seeing my stuff at your grocery is a great source of pride!

The verb "to see" is the subject, so I suppose that using "to see" is the right way... but it sounds so strange to me.

  • 2
    Your examples are interchangeable. However it would be at your grocery store and not on
    – mplungjan
    Jul 12, 2013 at 7:28
  • @mplungjan, but, using "Seying" doesn't imply that the 'stuff' is already there, while "To see" implies a prevision for the future?
    – user19148
    Jul 12, 2013 at 7:56
  • 3
    @Carlo_R. the key word here is 'is', which implies the stuff is already in place. If it was something for the future you would say "To see my stuff in your grocery store would be a great source of pride." Jul 12, 2013 at 8:23
  • Not really; I think it's a poor answer. It even assumes it's not going to be understood ("If this sounds confusing, .."). It doesn't do anything more than replicate the OP's own perception that "infinitives sound more abstract". Jul 12, 2013 at 13:27
  • 1
    @JohnLawler The quality of an answer is unrelated to the matter of whether the question itself is asking the same essential thing. One is always welcome, and indeed even encouraged, to add a better answer to an existing question. That’s one used in the second person, of course.
    – tchrist
    Jul 12, 2013 at 13:31

1 Answer 1


To see emphasizes on the action, while seeing emphasizes more on the process of seeing the stuff.

  • Why the down vote?
    – Noah
    Jul 12, 2013 at 12:39
  • Yes please, why the down vote? A down vote without an explanation is totally useless.
    – MatterGoal
    Jul 12, 2013 at 12:50
  • 1
    I didn't downvote, but I don't understand what your answer means. What is the difference in this case between "the action" and "the process"? It sounds to me as if you've taken some generic statement about the distinction between infinitives and gerunds, and repeated it without realizing that it doesn't actually apply to this particular sentence. Jul 12, 2013 at 13:13
  • 2
    It's very difficult to talk about this stuff without using technical terms, because all the general terms are vague and don't contrast. McCawley puts it this way: "Roughly speaking, that-complements correspond to propositions, for-to complements [infinitives] to situation types, and 's-ing complements [gerunds] to events." Of course, now one has to be able to distinguish propositions from situation types from events; and this is not simple. Jul 12, 2013 at 13:39

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