1. The whole class was working hard preparing for the exam.
  2. The whole class was working hard to prepare for the exam.

What are the differences between these two sentences?

  • Hello, and welcome to EL&U. What does your research show? – rajah9 Jan 27 '20 at 11:50
  • 1
    Preparing for the exam was what their work consisted of. To prepare was the reason why they were working so hard. – Kate Bunting Jan 27 '20 at 13:12
  • The first sentence has a gerund complement governed by work. The second sentence has a purpose infinitive (not a complement). Since the gerund complement of work describes the work being done, this turns out to be the same as the purpose infinitive, with this verb. But not necessarily with any other verb. – John Lawler Jan 27 '20 at 17:20