To live here demands extraordinary survival strategies.

Is the above structure common? It's from Planet Earth BBC series. Does the above sentence convey the same meaning as:

Living here demands extraordinary survival strategies.

  • Did you mean "here"? Apr 21, 2017 at 12:12
  • And "Living" in the second example sentence?
    – SteveES
    Apr 21, 2017 at 12:19
  • I think #1 (the infinitive version) is just about credible in this exact context, but in many similar contexts it doesn't work at all well. Most "credible" contexts involve repeating the infinitive, to create a parallel "epigrammatic" structure, such as To live is to suffer. My advice would be to stick to the second ("gerund noun" format) in all contexts, since it will probably always be acceptable, and usually much better than the alternative. Apr 21, 2017 at 13:14
  • @FumbleFingers Thanks. May you please extend The answer, What do you mean by 'credible context'? Apr 21, 2017 at 20:27
  • 2
    @FumbleFingers Thanks. Please consider converting you comments to an answer. Apr 23, 2017 at 21:21

2 Answers 2


The two sentences have different perspectives--outside looking in vs. inside.

To live here demands extraordinary survival strategies.

"To live here" means "in order to live here". This describes life abstractly if you're there. It also makes an implied comparison ("here" demands extraordinary survival strategies relative to other places).

Living here demands extraordinary survival strategies.

The continuous form describes the actual, real-time experience.

  • The first one means in order to, and THAT'S why it's different.
    – tchrist
    May 29, 2017 at 2:51
  • @tchrist, thanks. Good point. Updated the answer.
    – fixer1234
    May 29, 2017 at 5:35

Personally, as a native English speaker, the second is slightly better-sounding, what I'd use in conversation, but I don't think one is right or wrong.

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