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When should a verb be followed by a gerund instead of an infinitive?

What's the difference between the two:

  • What materials do they prefer working with?
  • What materials do they prefer to work with?

marked as duplicate by J.R., Mehper C. Palavuzlar, FumbleFingers, James Waldby - jwpat7, user11550 Aug 30 '12 at 17:14

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There's no difference in meaning. "Prefer to work" sounds very slightly more formal than "Prefer working" and also seems more natural to me, but that's pretty subjective. Either is perfectly valid.

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