I had a debate with my friend (English is not our mother tongue) because I found this phrase bit wierd.

We were almost close to booking tickets to London.

  1. I thought using 'almost' and 'close' together is not right.
  2. We were both confused on this part: to booking tickets.
    Should we use to book or to booking?

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jul 8 '18 at 13:32

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We were almost close to booking tickets to London.

It's perfectly fine.

Consider: I look forward to seeing you

Here "to" is not a marker of the infinitive verb, it is a preposition, so the verb that follows is in the gerund (-ing).

And to be "almost close to" means you were nearly doing or about to do something. The "almost" could be dropped entirely or substituted with very, which is used to emphasize a description.

We were very close to booking tickets to London.

Oxford Dictionaries provides a definition and pertinent examples

1.3 (close to) Very near to (being or doing something)

  • ‘I had a low point towards the end of last season and that is why I was close to leaving the club, but now I am at my best ever level.’
  • ‘The attempt nearly succeeded as he was close to being able to get his head through the hole.’

references: "To hear" or "to hearing"? and Why was “to + verb+ing” used in this case?


"Almost close" is probably redundant. I'd use simply "close." Also, it's "weird." I like to joke, "Put "i" before "e" except after "c," unless the word is foreign or weird.

  • It's certainly redundant, and I can't see any redeeming feature in this particular example. / '... or weir or seize or ...' – Edwin Ashworth Jul 8 '18 at 12:39
  • We could regard "almost" in "almost close" as an intensifier it stresses how far in the process of booking ticket to London they were. – Sarriesfan Jul 8 '18 at 18:57

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