Do we always use a verb after ‘to’? The answer is NO! In this English grammar lesson, I will teach you how ‘to’ can be followed by a noun, a preposition, an adjective, an adjective participle, and more. We will look at this grammatical structure in several sentences that serve different purposes. For example, we can express anticipation by saying “I look forward to meeting with you next week.” We can express a preference by saying “I prefer jogging to running.” Or we can express an obligation by saying “I need to get around to finishing my essay.” Watch the video for these and lots more useful ways to use ‘to’ plus an ‘-ing’ word ending. Then take a quiz on this lesson at

Next, watch these important grammar lessons:
1. THE CAUSATIVE in English:

2. How to use IF & WHETHER properly:


Hi. Welcome to I’m Adam. Today’s lesson is a bit of a grammar lesson; a specific point I’m going to look at. And this is “to” followed by an “ing” word or an “ing” verb, it looks like. Right? And for some people this is very confusing because they automatically see “to”, and they think it should be followed by a verb. Okay?

Now, the one thing that a lot of people forget is that “to” can be a preposition, and that is what you’re going to be looking at when you’re looking at “to” with an “ing”. But there are also some things you have to remember. You have to keep in mind that there are certain collocations. A “collocation” is basically a set of words-a pair, or three, or four words-that just generally go together to have a particular meaning. Right?

So, for example: “look forward to” – these three words generally go together, and they’re going to be followed by an “ing”. “I look forward to meeting you.” Now, where people get confused is they see a verb, and then they see the “to”, and they’re automatically thinking of another verb. But, here, this “to” is not part of the infinitive. There’s two uses for “to”: Preposition, and the infinitive “to”. Right? Part of the infinitive verb. What you have to remember is that preposition.

“Admit to”… “Admit”… “The student admitted to cheating on the test.” So: “Admitted to”, what? Remember: The preposition needs an object, and that’s what you’re going to be answering when you answer the question: “What?” And objects in this particular case are going to be nouns or they’re going to be gerunds. They can also be active participle adjectives, but I’ll talk about that in a second. “Admit to cheating”, “Object to being filmed”, for example. So, somebody… I’m a politician and I see a camera coming, and I say: “No, sorry. I object to being filmed. You can ask me questions, but don’t film me”, basically.

“Get around to” means you will do something. Okay? So: “I’ll get around to handing in the proposal later today.” Okay? So, basically what you have to do is just remember these collocations.

Where it gets a little bit trickier is when you have adjectives. But before that, “prefer” I forgot to mention. -“I prefer jogging to swimming.” -“Do you like jogging?” -“Well, I prefer it to swimming.” Right? So it doesn’t have to be an “ing”; it can be “it” mentioned before, and then “to”, “ing”. But this is a comparative “to”, preposition. And, again: “to”, what? “To” the noun or gerund. So, this is a gerund. It’s not a verb, and that’s why you can… It can follow “to”. Okay? Now, let’s look at a little… Something a little bit trickier, and I’ll show you a general rule on how you can recognize whether to use “to” as a preposition or a verb.

Now we’re going to look at something a little bit different. Okay? We’re going to look at adjective participles. Now, “participles” are basically verbs that are used as adjectives. They can be, like, “ed” or irregular verb, and they can be “ing” verbs; passive and active – that’s, you know, a different lesson on participles. But you have to also pay attention to how they’re being used in the sentence.

Let’s look at an example: “The company is committed to providing top-quality customer care.” So, here, we have a verb: “commit”, and we have: “is committed to”. But, here, we’re not actually looking at it as a passive verb; we’re looking at it as more like an adjective. “The company is committed”, right? So, this is telling you about the company. It’s like a subject complement; it’s acting like an adjective. And, here, this is a complement.

So, basically what does this mean? You have to look and see: What is your independent clause first? Right? And you should know independent clauses by now; and if you don’t, I have a video on that as well. So, here: “The company is committed”. This is a complete sentence: “The company is committed.” To what? I don’t know yet. […]



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