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What is the difference between these two versions:

  1. I look forward to meeting you.
  2. I look forward to meet you.

They seem very similar and exchangeable to me as I am a non-native speaker.

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2 Answers 2

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"To look forward to" - It's all about "to" which in this case is a preposition, not an infinitive marker. And we know that if we use a verb after a preposition, it should be in the gerund.

e.g.

  • "I'm looking forward to my holidays." ("to" followed by a noun)
  • "I'm looking forward to my retirement."
  • "I'm looking forward to visiting Paris again."
  • "I'm looking forward to meeting you."

or "I look forward to ....ing"

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  • Yes, we look forward to <noun>, we do not look forward to <verb>. Instead of a noun we can substitute a noun phrase or a noun equivalent such as a gerund. Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 18:15
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After the expression "to look forward to", you always use the gerund if you are using a verb.

It has to be: "I look forward to meeting you."

"I look forward to meet you." - This is incorrect.

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  • See, here's how the game works: I look forward to meet you, I look backward to dismiss you, and I look to the side to annoy you.
    – Jim
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 21:37
  • MoniqueH - I agree with your answer except that it is misleading to call a gerund a verb. Look for a definition of 'gerund' in a dictionary. A gerund is a noun made from a verb by adding "-ing." Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 22:22
  • @Jim - That is an artificial example that will simply confuse the OP who is confused enough already. Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 22:25

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