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The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew has been hailed by many as "Singapore's Chief Gardener" for his vision and single-minded commitment to transforming our country into a lush garden city and creating the best possible living environment for all citizens to enjoy.

I have tried referring to these links but to no avail:

No matter how much I try to use inductive reasoning, I can't figure out why using "...to transform our country..." is wrong.

  • Your final question is (a) totally different and (b) founded on a wrong premise. Both 'transforming' and 'transform' are acceptable here. – Edwin Ashworth May 28 '18 at 10:30
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    @EdwinAshworth elaborate please. – XPMai May 28 '18 at 10:31
  • Your title question is about why the “to” appearing in the sentence "The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew has been hailed by many as Singapore's Chief Gardener for his vision and single-minded commitment to transforming our country ..." isn't the infinitive indicator/marker. That's answered at the duplicate. Your final question asks why the alternative phrasing "The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew has been hailed by many as Singapore's Chief Gardener for his vision and single-minded commitment to transform our country ..." isn't acceptable. But it is. See the second link I give under Madeline's answer. – Edwin Ashworth May 28 '18 at 10:37
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    @EdwinAshworth I see. I wasn’t aware of the difference. I thought if ”to” is an infinitive indicator, it would mean ”to transform” is correct. That’s why I phrased my title that way, and ends this thread with an elaboration of my original qs: to transform or transformation? – XPMai May 28 '18 at 10:47
  • @XPMai I disagree with Edwin's comment here. "hailed by many as Singapore's Chief Gardener for his vision and single-minded commitment to transform our country" is, in my view, NOT completely felicitious. ... – Araucaria - Not here any more. May 28 '18 at 12:59
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"To transform our country" is wrong because of the word "commitment".

If you think of the verb "to commit to something/doing something", the to is not an indiciator of the infinitive but rather a preposition pointing to the commitment. Therefore, we use the gerung (ING) after a preposition.

Hope it helps!

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    Hello, Madeline. Please add research to substantiate answers (though in this case, it won't). Both bare infinitives and ing-forms may be used after the string 'a commitment to', though there may be some restrictions on where the infinitive may idiomatically be used. An example from Longman: 'The government gave a commitment to withdraw all its forces.' See also the correct answer (by e2efour) at the relevant Wordreference.com discussion. – Edwin Ashworth May 28 '18 at 8:54
  • @EdwinAshworth This has been closed as a duplicate of other to-infinitive versus gerund participlal questions, but the answer to this question relates to the meaning of the word commitment. The adjective single-minded here more or less rules out to-infinitive. I think the question is worth reopening, as it would enable future readers to find that info that they are unlikely to find easily anywhere else! – Araucaria - Not here any more. May 28 '18 at 9:58
  • @Araucaria I've found (among the claimed 114 000 000 tokens for "commitment to improve" on Google) six different attributive adjectives in the first seven pages of results, and one determiner ("that commitment to improve"). This question doesn't address the 'commitment + to-infinitive' structure, but if it did, it would be a duplicate of What is the difference between complementing a noun with prepositional phrase and with to-infinitive?.... – Edwin Ashworth May 28 '18 at 10:24
  • This was IMO wrongly closed, but there are other threads discussing to-infinitival noun complements. – Edwin Ashworth May 28 '18 at 10:26
  • @EdwinAshworth The point is not so much that there's an attributive adjective, it's more the meaning of single-minded. Where commitment refers to a public promise, it must take an infinitive (the commitment here is an event, so to speak). Where commitment means something like dedication and signifies a state, not an event, it is followed by a gerund participle. That's more what I was angling at. The single-minded adjective, of course, works better with the latter meaning (it implies duration, compatible with a state but not a punctive event). – Araucaria - Not here any more. May 28 '18 at 10:57
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We are commited to "something" generally,which normally is a noun or nominal phrase, but when the goal is to show that we are commited to an action, we use a verb+ing to have the function of a noun, therefore the sentens makes sens.

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