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I always use Looking forward to talk to you. But I kind of have the feeling it is not correct.

Which of the following is the correct way to use?

Looking forward to talk to you

or

Looking forward to talking to you.

  • 1
    Did you intend for one of your two options to have "talk" without "ing"? As it is, your alternatives are identical. – cobaltduck Oct 17 '16 at 16:51
  • @cobaltduck I agree with you, the previous examples were wrongly identical. I've edited it to make it into more of an actual question. – BladorthinTheGrey Oct 17 '16 at 16:58
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...looking forward to talking

Is correct. Many students were told by their teacher to not put -ing after to. But, to in ..look forward to.. is not an infinitive marker. "Look forward to" is a prepositional phrase and "to" is a preposition here. A preposition needs a direct object. A direct object can be a noun or a noun form of verb (gerund).

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The structure is either "I look forward to X" or "I am looking forward to X". Both are idiomatic. Here "X" represents some noun, so you can insert any person, place, or thing. "Talking" is a gerund, which is the -ing form of a verb used as a noun to represent the action of doing that thing. Other examples:

I look forward to [having dinner with you tonight].

I look forward to [meeting you for dinner tonight].

I look forward to [eating dinner with you tonight].

I look forward to [seeing you for dinner tonight].

I look forward to [dining with you tonight].

By the way, despite the fact that I use different actions, all of these sentences mean more or less the same thing. Or I could avoid the gerund entirely and just insert the noun:

I look forward to [dinner with you tonight].

Similarly any other noun (or noun phrase) works:

I'm looking forward to the playoff game.

I look forward to my next paycheck.

I look forward to when this election is finally over.

I'm looking forward to Spring.

  • To conclude, are you saying "Looking forward to talk to you" is the correct way? – goutam Oct 17 '16 at 18:40
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    By itself, "talk" is a verb, not a noun. If you want to use it as a noun you can say, "I'm looking forward to our talk". Otherwise please read the linked page on gerunds. – Andrew Oct 17 '16 at 18:52
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look forward to requires -ing form. In such phrase to is a preposition (not an infinitive form), therefore it must refer to a noun.

Often, a verb in -ing form is used as noun. This is a phrase and you can check its correctness in any English dictionary or grammar book.

In conclusion: looking forward to talking to you is the correct form.

  • 1
    Syntactically, it's I am looking forward to X, where the point is X has to be a noun. This would still be the case with Simple Present I look forward to X, so it might be misleading for learners if they assume there's some connection between the continuous participle verb form looking and the gerund noun form talking. The "nouniness" of the gerund form can easily be seen in, say, Talking to you is something I look forward to. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Oct 17 '16 at 17:29
  • @egcmi To conclude, are you saying "Looking forward to talk to you" is the correct way? – goutam Oct 17 '16 at 18:35

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