I'm trying to find, which of the following sentences is correct?

A) We try to highlight how they contribute to investigate their importance.

B) We try to highlight how they contribute to investigating their importance.

I found that both cases were used frequently in formal writing.


Sources for each case:

For A: "Their multifaceted nature means that there are very many routes to investigating their importance for understanding social change" in "A lineage for contemporary inter-city studies" book.

B: "More factors are analysed to investigate their importance in scoring from shots and shot probabilities" in "Applications of logistic regression to shots at goal at association football" book.

  • Cite your sources and research done so far please. One of those examples is very ungrammatical.
    – R Mac
    Mar 21, 2020 at 13:59
  • 3
    They mean different things.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 21, 2020 at 14:06
  • @RMac I added sources.
    – Minions
    Mar 21, 2020 at 14:16
  • Your new examples make sense. Mar 21, 2020 at 14:16
  • 4
    They mean different things!! Are they contributing to the investigation, or is it their contributions you wish to investigate???
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 21, 2020 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


You're misanalysing your "sources".

Contribute normally takes "to" plus a noun phrase, or something which can act as a noun phrase; hence contribute to investigating. Contribute to investigate is not grammatical.

Similarly routes to investigating.

But More factors are analysed to investigate... is an entirely different construction. Analyse doesn't take a "to" phrase, so to investigate is something different. In fact, it is a "purpose" clause - infinitive with "to" often has the meaning "in order to ...".

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