There are few questions and answer on the choice of gerund versus infinitive. From what I understand, when conveying a purpose the infinitive should be used:

I use my key in order to open the door. [correct]
I use my key in order to opening the door. [incorrect]
I use words to describe my dream. [correct]
I use words to describing my dream. [incorrect]

Yet I read the instruction on an English lesson book:

"Use similes to describing the animals here below."

Could you please confirm what should follow "(in order) to": the gerund or the infinitive?

  • "Use similes for describing the animals (here) below." – Mari-Lou A Aug 30 '14 at 5:35

That's a mistake. It should be Use similes to describe the animals here below. You might want to get a different book.

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  • It's a handbook designed for children by an English native speaker. I'm supposed to take over her task, so I'll edit accordingly. The fact a native speaker chose to use a gerund made me hesitate. Thanks. – Benjamin Dec 16 '12 at 9:59
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    And it's not really necessary to say here below. Below is enough. Or simply these animals. – Barrie England Dec 16 '12 at 10:08
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    Not only is it not necessary, it sounds rather odd. – calum_b Dec 16 '12 at 15:37
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    Maybe it was "use similes in describing the animals here [or: below]" and got mangled during copy-editing to be what you now see. – dubiousjim Dec 16 '12 at 21:24

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