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The sentence that confuses me from the reading is "...there are many perks to doing readings on a television show."

As an English learner, I was taught that "to + do" is the correct structure. But I've found and heard many times "to + doing" like the example above.

My questions are:

  1. Does "there are many perks to do readings on a television show" sound right as well?

  2. What are the rules and in what specific cases should I use "to doing" instead of "to do"?

Much appreciated.

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    "To do" is an infinitive phrase, while "to doing" is a prepositional phrase. Each kind of phrase has its own rules for use. If you still have questions, please consider asking at ELL, which is probably more appropriate for this issue. Oct 12, 2022 at 5:24

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It can help to first identify the main verb of the sentence.

Consider the following sentences (the main verb is in bold):

  1. He wants to go home.
  2. There are benefits to going home.

In sentence 1, "to go home" is an infinitive complement to "wants". The "to go" form works here; the "to going" form doesn't.

In sentence 2, you can't parse "to going home" as an infinitive complement to "are". Instead, you need to treat both "benefits" and "going home" as a noun phrases. Here, what is communicated is that when someone goes home, it's beneficial to them.

If you change "to going" in the second sentence to "to go", you get this:

  1. There are benefits to go home.

This sentence isn't talking about how good it is to go home. Sentence 3 says something completely different - it communicates that some benefits will be sent home. It's analogous to "There are pizzas to take home".

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    Thanks for the explanation. I've never thought about this from the perspective of "meaning".
    – learningc
    Oct 12, 2022 at 8:51
  • @learningc You’re welcome. Some sentences look weird until you catch what they’re trying to say. Here’s a pair of sentences I came across at uni decades ago: 1. Time flies like an arrow. 2. Fruit flies like a banana. :)
    – Lawrence
    Oct 12, 2022 at 16:01

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