Which of the following three constructions is more common in everyday speech?

  1. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than kissing my girlfriend.

  2. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to kiss my girlfriend.

  3. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than kiss my girlfriend.

  • "Nothing gives me greater er pleasure than... – Cascabel Jan 14 at 20:18
  • None of these are correct as written, as @Cascabel is pointing out. – Blue Caboose Jan 14 at 20:19
  • 1
    @Cascabel:You are right. l'll edit it. – Mido Mido Jan 14 at 20:20
  • Number 3 is ungrammatical. The other two are possible but are nuanced differently. The second one would more likely refer to a single kiss. – WS2 Jan 14 at 20:30
  • @WS2: Actually, l had doubts about No. 3. I wasn't sure of its use thinking that some people may use it In informal English. – Mido Mido Jan 14 at 20:50

There is a subtle difference between 1 and 2, as WS2 noted earlier. However, I have been noticing that "to"+infinitive constructions have been increasingly occurring in instances where I would have expected a gerund. For example, with increasing frequency, I have heard speakers say, "Would you be interested to participate in this program?" where the meaning is closer to "Would you be interested in participating in this program?". It seems that the nuanced difference between "interested in" and "interested to," and similarly with the usages in 1 and 2, is in the process of being lost.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.