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Advertising used to be about persuading people to want your product. Now the task "seems to be to make "people admire your advertising.

Shouldn't we say "seems to make" or "seems to be making"?

  • the original is a bit wordy but still correct, imo.... the progressive is of no use here – Mv Log Sep 2 '18 at 12:04
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    The existing text is grammatically fine, but on purely stylistic grounds I'd prefer to reflect the semantic "symmetry" more accurately in the syntax as well: Advertising used to be about persuading people to want your product. Now it seems to be about making people admire your advertising. – FumbleFingers Sep 2 '18 at 13:03
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The collocation is seems to be. seems to be is a hedge that falls shy of the bald declaration is. It looks or appears to be such-and-such.

seems to be can be complemented by an infinitive clause or a participle clause (and an adjective phrase, but that's not relevant here).

The purpose of advertising seems to be

... to make people admire your advertising.

... making people admire your advertising.

There is a nuanced difference between to make and making. The marked infinitive (that is, to + plain or "bare" infinitive) can denote purpose and intent in a way that the participle cannot.

Since we're talking about purpose and intent in that sentence, the infinitive clause is the preferred complement there, although the clause headed by the participle making is not ungrammatical.

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The confusion comes from the fact that "seems" can be followed by the infinitive of "be".

Another way to write this sentence is:

"Now it seems that the task is to make people admire your advertising"

This is a clause of purpose. cf. The aim/the goal is to make people do x/y/z

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