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What is the correct way to say this?

We are dedicated to creating an enviroment where people can....

or

We are dedicated to create an enviroment where people can...

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  • creating is a gerund while create is a verb...so it might depend upon the main verb (dedicated)that decides what to use after to(gerund or verb of 1st form). Jun 20, 2017 at 11:39
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    Gerunds cast the verbal act as an action. Normally dedicated to wants {something} as its complement, and creating is a {something}. "They are dedicated to peace." "They are dedicated to making peace." "They are dedicated to make peace" would be unidiomatic. Jun 20, 2017 at 11:49
  • I think both are grammatical, but they don't mean the same. However, I feel that the second sentence might need a word such as enough after dedicated in order to make it more natural.
    – user3395
    Jun 20, 2017 at 11:57
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    @userr2684291: You are mistaken. OP's second example is completely unacceptable on purely syntactic grounds. Jun 20, 2017 at 13:29

2 Answers 2

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Dedicated (adjective) means "believing that something is very important and giving a lot of time and energy to it". And with this meaning, "dedicated to" is a fixed expression. Here "to" doesn't mark an infinitive. It's a preposition. If you use a verb after a preposition, you must use the gerund (-ing) form.

That's why the correct form here is: We are dedicated to creating an environment where people can....

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    This would be a more useful answer if you were to add an explanation why they need to use a gerund.
    – SteveES
    Jun 20, 2017 at 12:07
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Infinitives are more abstract than gerunds, in places where you can choose between the two.

One way to evaluate that is:

We are dedicated to creating an enviroment where people can....

There's an actual environment that's going to be created somewhere, or that is being worked on currently. We probably know how to create it or expect to easily be able to figure it out.

We are dedicated to create an enviroment where people can....

The desired environment may not exist yet, or possibly we are planning how to create it because we don't know how it's going to be created yet. Or, we may really be talking about a standard we want to impose as requirements on others, rather than an actual instance of creating an environment.

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  • As FF mentions above, "We are dedicated to create..." is unacceptable in English. Only the gerundive is syntactically correct here. Jun 20, 2017 at 16:12
  • You'll probably hear it in real life speech.
    – LawrenceC
    Jun 20, 2017 at 16:59
  • dz420 and FumbleFingers have it right. The preposition to can't take an unmarked infinitive as its object when it is part of a fixed expression. I would expect to hear such syntax only from a non-native speaker or someone who has had poor instruction. If you accept "dedicated to create," then surely you have no objection to "interested in drive" or "frightened of shout". Jun 20, 2017 at 17:32
  • Why can't dedicated take an infinitive as an object or object-ish complement like want - e.,g. "I want to create an environment ..." E.g. "This tool is dedicated to make widgets". I agree it's wrong, though, but not terribly jarring like your counterexamples for some reason.
    – LawrenceC
    Jun 20, 2017 at 17:39
  • Again: if I were to hear "This tool is dedicated to make widgets", I would assume that the speaker's native language is not English. Want to is not analogous to dedicated to. In want to, the to is the infinitive marker, not a preposition. What do I want? To create. Compare that to "What is it dedicated? To create." It fails the nonsense test. Expressions liike Dedicated to and the other examples I presented employ a past participle together with a preposition to form a fixed expression. Jun 20, 2017 at 18:12

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