Which one is grammatically correct?

1.There are two steps to use this system.
2.There are two steps to using this system.

2 Answers 2


OP's first alternative sounds completely "off" to me. In such contexts, to isn't an "infinitive verb marker" - it's a preposition that effectively means [that are] involved in1. Which simply doesn't work where the referent of the preposition is the verb phrase use this system.

The second is better, because at least using this system is a credible noun phrase (a "gerund", if you like). But personally I'd prefer...

3: There are two steps to [the] use of this system

...where the target of the preposition is more explicitly "nouny".

1 A few example utterances that might give a better picture of how to functions here...

4: There's more to this question than meets the eye
5: There are four key elements to the plan
6: There are many sides to this argument

...from which it should be clear that whatever follows to in such contexts should always be a noun.


Both are correct in two senses but it depends on the people from different nations. In my opinion almost every ESL learners select the first one at once. But a native may easily select the second one ..

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