I came across a sentence

With a view to creating a safe and secure environment for women an armed battalion of women police has been formed in Bihar.

Shall I write it as

With a view to create a safe and secure environment for women an armed battalion of women police has been formed in Bihar.

Is it incorrect to use infinitive in the latter sentence? Does the meaning of both the sentences is same?

If not please explain me the difference in the meaning of the two sentences.

I've seen many explanations regarding the usage of preposition+gerund in stackexchange still I'm in confusion.

Please explain me how and when to use gerunds with prepositions like "to" simpler way.

  • 1
    I think it is a phrase: macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/… – Cardinal Aug 24 '16 at 10:38
  • @Cardinal It's Ok. What about second sentence? Is it wrong to say like that? Or does it has different meaning? Could you please explain to me? – Omkar Reddy Aug 24 '16 at 10:41
  • @Ganesh.R - I don't know if I would call the second one wrong but it is just not how we say it; it does not sound fluent. It's always "a view to ___ing". Prepositions are really tricky things and I don't know if there is a good rule for what form of a word to use after them. – stangdon Aug 24 '16 at 11:47
  • @stangdon So,the usage of gerund depends on the phrase it is following ("view to" in this case) but not only preposition. We can use "to create" in some instances. Am I right? Or should we use "to creating" always? Please clarify me. – Omkar Reddy Aug 24 '16 at 12:37
  • 1
    Like I said, it's difficult to give a general rule. Yes, "to create" can be used if you need to use the infinitive, for example "I like to create something new." But whether you need the infinitive (to create) or the bare infinitive (create) or the gerund (creating) depends on the exact phrase. – stangdon Aug 24 '16 at 13:41

Gerunds are nouns, and objects of prepositions are nouns. So you can use gerunds as objects of prepositions.

To X has many meanings in English, and one of those is toward X which can mean "to do things which cause you to move closer to the goal X":

With a view to creating a safe and secure environment

To also can be just the sign of an infinitive which is what is happening here:

With a view to create a safe and secure environment

The first one is saying we are going move toward creating a "safe and secure" environment. When completed, the environment will be more safe/secure, but might not be completely safe/secure.

The second one is saying that when completed, the environment will be completely safe/secure.

  • Only problem in both sentences I see is there should a comma between "women" and "an" for clarity. – LawrenceC Aug 25 '16 at 12:46

With a view to is a set phrase meaning With the hope, aim, or intention of

Strips of rainforest were purchased with a view to creating protected areas.

We use the gerund after nouns in the set expressions. The infinitive is not used in these cases.

Mike is in charge of inviting guests. There was no point in going there. There is no sense in waiting for them here. There is no harm in being careful. She had trouble hearing what he said.

Examples from different dictionaries: with a view to : with the object of (studied hard with a view to getting an A) Merriam -Webster.

with a view to doing sth ​ C1 with the aim of doing something: These measures have been taken with a view to increasing the company's profits. Dictionary Cambridge.org.

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