4

"the most effective method to developing and improving health is daily exercise".

Here to+gerund structure seems like to be combined wrongly as preposition "to" doesn't belong to "method". So what do you think about that?

9
  • What preposition do you think might be better? Or what alternative structure do you think works better? Sep 13 '16 at 16:29
  • out of subject bu of course "in". Sep 13 '16 at 16:33
  • Does your feeling change, Cavid, when you eliminate "to developing and" from the sentence? Would you say "method to improving health"? Sep 13 '16 at 16:36
  • In works, as does of. Meanwhile to may not be my first or second choice, but it doesn't sound terrible. Sep 13 '16 at 16:38
  • I see you, without "to developing and " it sounds more easy going but my focus here is "to + V ing" structure. It doesnt look grammatically fine for me Sep 13 '16 at 16:45
16

When you use to to mean "for the purpose of," then you have to use the infinitive form of the verb, not the gerund.

The most effective method to develop and improve health is daily exercise.

If you want to use the -ing form of the verb, then you need to use the preposition for or of.

The most effective method for developing and improving health is daily exercise.

The most effective method of developing and improving health is daily exercise.

5

It's not incorrect.

To can mean toward. You can say "method to X" to mean "method that is used to move toward goal/desired state X"

3
  • You wouldn't use method in that case though - you might say something like "The fastest path to improving health and increased vigor is daily exercise." Even that sounds off - we don't normally refer to "improving health" as a state, we usually say "improved health" or something similar.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 13 '16 at 18:31
  • 1
    I think "not incorrect" is about the right level of damning this sentence with faint praise. I might lean a little more towards "not unintelligible" though, for fear of encouraging it ;-) Sep 13 '16 at 23:02
  • could you give examples including "method to" to mean "toward" ? Sep 14 '16 at 13:50
2

There is no easy rule. It depends on the noun choice, e.g. method, way, recipe, spell. The noun governs what can follow.

It's an alchemical method to make gold from straw and dung.
It's an alchemical way to make gold from straw and dung.
It's an alchemical recipe to make gold from straw and dung.
It's a magical spell to make gold from straw and dung.

It's an alchemical method of making gold from straw and dung. marginal
It's an alchemical way of making gold from straw and dung.
It's an alchemical recipe of making gold from straw and dung. ungrammatical
It's a magical spell of making gold from straw and dung.ungrammatical

It's an alchemical method for making gold from straw and dung.
It's an alchemical way for making gold from straw and dung. marginal
It's an alchemical recipe for making gold from straw and dung.
It's a magical spell for making gold from straw and dung.

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