I have searched both Google and this site. According to Collins, predispose can accept both to + infinitive and to + gerund. I find this questionable, but there it is.

Other than that, I can think of approach:
We need a new approach to win customers.
We need a new approach to winning customers.
Actually, in this case, it seems the infinitive works because of "need" and the gerund works because of "approach", so they're not actually saying the same thing.

I have seen on this site that prone does not work both ways, although people do use it both ways. It should only be used with to + gerund.

Are there other words or phrases that can accept to + infinitive and to + gerund equally?

*Note: I am not asking about "to" + infinitive vs. gerund. I am only asking about cases where the word "to" comes before the gerund, and also before the infinitive, and means the same thing. I have not found this question duplicated anywhere.

EDIT: And if the expressions do not always have the same meaning, can they ever have the same meaning?

EDIT: My current list, yea or nay?
well suited to do = well suited to doing
be adapted to do = be adapted to doing
proceed to do = proceed to doing
with a mind to do = with a mind to doing
agree to do = agree to doing
consent to do = consent to doing
donate to do = donate to doing

  • 1
    I think it is more because **winning customers" is used as a noun phrase in the second sentence. The preceding verbiage has very little if anything to do with it. The two sentences really don't mean exactly the same thing, nor does the preceding verbiage (i.e. approach and predispose) have much if anything to do with the choice of either infinitive or gerund.
    – Bread
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 2:51
  • I see them as quite different. "...to win customers..." is equivalent to "...for winning (by us) new customers...". But the second one ("...new approach to winning customers" could easily mean "we need a new approach for our customers who do considerable business with us".
    – eSurfsnake
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 4:53
  • Well, you can say, "We need a new _____ to win customers," with almost anything, since the infinitive can be used to express intention, e.g. "I went to the store to buy some butter." Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 7:51
  • @Bread, of course it is a noun phrase, using a gerund. Even so, not all words can be followed by "to" + a noun phrase, and this is dependent on the word. Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 10:30
  • 1
    I have long sought any kind of generalized explanation for why some phrases demand infinitive and some gerund, as students ask me this regularly. I've found nothing; you just have to learn each phrase. Is there any conceptual reason why "I enjoy to play football," is incorrect? Or "I demand knowing"? Any key to help people know which one to use generally would be El Dorado's gold for me. Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 5:02

1 Answer 1


I think you just need to learn which verbs are typically followed by an infinitive and which more commonly take a gerund.

Here's a list from another site to get you started.

  • One does have to learn them when learning English. That said, some take both and mean different things: I love playing tennis; I love to play tennis.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 20:59
  • Thank you, but this is not a site for English learners and I am not learning English. I know them all pretty well and which forms they take, but I have noticed that sometimes "to" can appear in both forms, with different roles. With "a new approach to win" I suspect that the infinitive of intention enters into it. We do something TO DO something else. Even something like "I enjoy to relax," meaning not that I enjoy relaxing, but that I enjoy in order to relax. Weird, but... incorrect? Maybe not. Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 8:46

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