when I was young I wasn't from the English area but I am used to learning English grammar already. Well , I am still thinking about one thing maybe because I had not even got to learn this grammar until I have realized that is such use in English . Nobody has even said to me that an -ing form can be added after the "to" in actually . What I used to learn was all about the infinitives (base verbs) only . I have seen and gone through the post in this webpage but I still cannot understand about it. So what can I actually do so that I can always be able to identify the differences about those situations hence I must able to make it clear about whether to put a gerund or a base verb after that particular "to" ? =(
Only if you can put [to + noun] after a certain verb would you usually use [to + verb-ing] when using a gerund. The reason is that a gerund functions like a noun, so it can regularly be replaced with a noun. An asterisk indicates a sentence that is not grammatical.
*She likes to eggs.
*She likes to eating.
She consented to an evacuation.
She consented to evacuating the area.
Note that the first group of verbs is far more common than the last, so [to + verb-ing] is uncommon.
Following on from Cerberus's answer (and ignoring travel verbs such as go / walk / drive / travel):
These verbs are commonly followed by the preposition ‘to’:
answer to (someone) appeal to (someone or someone's affections) apply to (something) react to (something)
but don't commonly accept a [doing something] object (?) for the preposition.
These verbs do:
apply oneself to [doing] something aspire to [doing] something attend to [doing] something be resigned to [doing] something commit oneself to [doing] something confess to [doing] something devote oneself to [doing] something react to [doing] (something) refer to [doing] (something) resort to [doing] something see to [doing] something subject someone to [doing] something turn to [doing] something)