I read a sentence:

This book is an introduction to doing research.

I am wondering:

Q1. Why not written as:

This book is an introduction to do research.

Q2. Is there any difference between the two sentences?

Q3. How do we know when to use 'noun to gerund' form?


Q4: Is it equivalent to "This book is an introduction for doing research"?

Thank you for your help.

  • 1
    I think you mean "is" , not "in".
    – BillJ
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 7:34
  • @BillJ Yes, I fixed it. Thank you.
    – library
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 7:41
  • Note that this is the preposition to, not the infinitive marker (I forced him to kneel). Certain nouns take to-phrases (an introduction to calculus, an invitation to the dance, a view to the future, a grant to the disabled, an address to the nation ...). Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


Because you are introduced to things and people identified by nouns, not by verbs.

You might be introduced to snails for example, or to Professor Mollusc the great expert on snails, or to research on snails, or to doing research on snails. However you would not be introduced to do research on snails unless you were being given a job with Professor Mollusc, in which case you would be introduced to Professor Mollusc in order to do research on snails.

You might also be introduced to track athletics or to running, but you would not be introduced 'to run' unless you were being introduced to the athletic club in order to run.

The use of the gerunds "doing" and "running" in these examples is because you are being introduced to them, so you need the verbs to act as nouns. That is they must be gerunds.

  • +1. Also, “... is an introduction to do ...” makes the infinitive the goal of the introduction, rather than the thing introduced.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 10:30
  • @Lawrence I'm happy with ' ... is an invitation to V ...'. Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 14:30
  • Thank you. Could we explain that "this book is an introduction(for readers) (in order)to do research."?
    – library
    Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 7:09
  • 1
    @Jun I wouldn't. I'd say "This book is an introduction to reseach", "This book is an introduction to the field of research" or, just possibly "This book is an introduction to researching". As an example of this usage the book An Introduction to Statistical Learning: With Applications in R has a title which is very similar in structure.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 12:51

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