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Gerund Vs Infinitive

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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Gerund Vs Infinitive

Postby swati » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:16 am

• Having more than the usual number of fingers or toes on the hands or feet is termed
polydactyly.

• To have more than the usual number of fingers or toes on the hands or feet is termed
polydactyly.


I want to know which of the above is a correct sentence and why?

Thanks
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Re: Gerund Vs Infinitive

Postby Alan » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:52 am

Only the first is both grammatical and natural.

Gerunds rather than infinitives are preferred as subjects when the main clause denotes something that actually exists/occurs, and infinitives where something unreal or hypothetical is discussed. Since this medical conditonal actually occurs, the gerund is preferable here.
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