A fellow teacher said to me that the to~ infinitive always implies the future..."to eat", "to swim" etc. I disagreed and said that I thought it was abstract and had no tense in of itself.
He pointed out that most of the uses of the infinitive are always to do with the future....obligation, plans, promises, expectation, orders etc.
So, "I promise to eat my vegetables" is correct, because it implies the future...
but the gerund form "verb/noun +ing" cannot be used because it doesn't imply the future: "I promise eating my vegetables".
So far so good...but, I said, what about one of the most basic gerund/infinitive questions asked by students: I like swimming + I like to swim.
Here, "to swim" implies an ongoing habit. So it is not inherently in the future-tense...
My colleague countered that through usage, probably over hundreds of years, a usage developed to do with preference...(like, love etc) which formed an exception to the basic rule: Infinitive "to~" = Future.
So, my colleague believes that the infinitive is inherently in the future tense.....and the "I like to eat pineapples" preference usage is just an EXCEPTION that developed through possible misuse over time.
Is he right?