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I have been taught that we can use either of "to INF" or "Verb-ing" at the beginning of the sentence as a subject, which leads me to a point of confusion.

Here is my confusion:

A: To smoke is not good for all.
B: Smoking is not good for all.

These two sentences both mean the same thing to me.

Could you guys explain the difference and then can we use that explanation to demonstrate other such sentences with?

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  • They do have the same meaning - who has told you otherwise? Jul 11 '19 at 7:56
  • @KateBunting some books I use smoking but they have an answer is to smoke. I really don't know why.
    – farm4fame
    Jul 11 '19 at 7:58
  • The habit of smoking tobacco is usually referred to as smoking, so B is the more natural sentence. However, it is possible to use an infinitive as the subject of a sentence, so A is grammatical and has the same meaning. Jul 11 '19 at 8:35
  • @KateBunting so I guess A seems like a warning and B seems like useful for the context of teaching about smoking, is that right?
    – farm4fame
    Jul 11 '19 at 8:37
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    Possible duplicate of How does one know when to use a gerund or an infinitive? The general answer for subjects (and other usages, though cases where there are different meanings, as in He stopped to smoke / He stopped smoking, are not covered) is given in the accepted answer. Jul 11 '19 at 13:06