I met a sentence like "I stopped to smoke" more often than " I stopped for smoking". Is there any reason why we use " I stopped to smoke " more often? And What is the difference between the two sentence in meaning?(What is the reason why we should use "to infinite" in sentence like this?) I want to know the exact reason why. Help me!

  • For some reasons Asians, particularly South Asians (i.e. Indians) gravitate towards the present progressive ("for smoking") which native speakers eschew in these contexts. I don't know why - maybe, grammatically speaking, the progressive is more common in their native languages? – Dan Bron Jul 23 '15 at 10:19

(Firstly, I stopped for smoking is not something that native speakers of English are likely to say).

I stopped to smoke

This implies "I stopped in order to smoke", where the use of to + infinitive indicates an intention:

In this case to has the same meaning as in order to or so as to. Examples She came to collect her pay cheque.

The three bears went to find firewood.

I am calling to ask you about dad.

Your sister has gone to finish her homework.

This is from edufind, where there is more about uses of the infinitive.

So you could use I stopped to smoke if you were say, walking along, stopped walking, stood still and then had a cigarette.

However, if you want to say that you do not smoke any more, you must say:

I stopped smoking

In this case the verb is followed by a gerund. In English, we stop a thing, so "stop" has to be followed by a noun, or the noun form (gerund) of another verb. Here is a link (edufind again) to a list of common verbs which are followed by a gerund (you will see that stop is listed).

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