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I tried some online tests just now:

I am too tired _______ out. Besides, I have to wake up early morning.

I chose 'to go'. However, it turned out that I was wrong, according to the test maker. The correct answer is 'going'. Why do we use gerund here?

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I saw a post here: https://forums.digitalspy.com/discussion/539036/too-tired-to-go-out-after-work-its-getting-me-down

-> This 'too tired' is followed by (to-verb)

Can someone elaborate why the answer is 'going'? Please explain as thorough as possible, and give some statistics and maybe some scientific journals/data to back up your claim.

Thanks!

Source for anyone interested: httx://wwx.prolancom.com/test-your-english

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  • Source: prolancom.com/test-your-english
    – Flonne
    Aug 17, 2017 at 5:38
  • I can't post more than one link, so I added the source in the comment. (need 15 reputation points)
    – Flonne
    Aug 17, 2017 at 5:42
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    You had the right answer. The test is wrong (although their choice is technically grammatical as the answer below points out).
    – user230
    Aug 17, 2017 at 5:55
  • @snailplane Thanks for your confirmation. I have just read this > dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/verb-patterns/…; it's a good read.
    – Flonne
    Aug 17, 2017 at 6:04
  • You are right! 'too' licenses infinitival clause.
    – user178049
    Aug 17, 2017 at 7:27

1 Answer 1

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Firstly, my initial answer would have been the same as yours, "I am too tired to go out".

However, while

"I am too tired going out"

does sound a little strange, it is possible. It implies that the speaker is already out, but would rather not be out.

Compare with

"I am too tired to go out"

which implies that going out is a future action. This usage indicates that the speaker is not going to go, or is very reluctant.

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  • thanks for answering! I can't upvote your answer because my reputation is still very low. I also deducted the same thing (similar to) your answer. Yeah, I don't know, maybe a real native speaker (whose all his/her life speaking English) can chime in his/her answer. I'm close to native but not really a native (only 20+years learning English though), that's why I'm confused with the answer...
    – Flonne
    Aug 17, 2017 at 5:37
  • @FlonneLightberry No problem, though I should point out that I am British, and certified CELTA. Good luck.
    – Yutenji
    Aug 17, 2017 at 5:45
  • I thought you were a Japanese (from your name).Sorry about that. Thank you for your answer! I guess I'll dig some old literatures about gerund and to-infinitive once more...
    – Flonne
    Aug 17, 2017 at 5:47
  • I am convinced now that the answer should be (-to go out) instead of (-going out). The key is the sentence next after the 'I'm too tired ___ out". It showed a future reference that "I" must work tomorrow and go out in the morning, and to emphasize that,we should use 'to go', and shows reluctance. Unless the premise, or probably a picture to describe that the speaker is already out.. I will stand with (-to go).
    – Flonne
    Aug 17, 2017 at 6:10
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    Besides, "I have to wake up early morning" is itself flawed. Where is the determiner for the countable singular noun? Where is the preposition? Where was the test's proofreader when this question was posed? Aug 17, 2017 at 10:44

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