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Is here any difference between: 1. I think she loves being active. 2. I think she loves to be active.

2 Answers 2

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With that example, there is no practical difference.

However, pick different verbs, and there could be:

She loves ice skating.
She loves to ice skate.

The infinitive and the gerund are both non-finite verb forms that can be used as nouns referring to the action in question, but sometimes the meaning diverges. Where the verb represents a pass-time or sport, sometimes one ends up referring to the activity as an abstract, and is thus appropriate for people who enjoy watching it, while the other refers to actually doing it. Ice skating is fairly typical in that regard, where the gerund is appropriate to fans, but the infinitive is used to refer to actually doing the activity.

In some cases, where an activity has a person who is doing it, and another has it done to them, that is where a person can be both subject and object, the gerund can mean they enjoy being either do-er or done-to, subject or object, while the to-infinitive means they enjoy being the do-er.

There are likely to be other types of situations where the gerund and the to-infinitive have subtle (or not so subtle) differences in meaning, and if you are using them with verbs other than enjoy they will get wider, I've no doubt. The way they work differently for enjoy are a starting point for differences in other contexts, too.

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In my opinion there is a difference.

She loves being active => implies she enjoys the activity.

She loves to be active => implies she doesn't necessarily enjoy the activity, but she chooses to do it as a habit or a preference as the right thing to do.

I love waking up early => I enjoy waking up. I love to wake up early => I choose to wake up, as a habit or a preference (although it is not for enjoyment).

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  • Welcome to the site Syed and thank you for your answer. Please note that it is important on a site aimed at English learners to use correct spelling, capitalization and punctuation, to help English learners to see and learn from good English practices. I have corrected your text accordingly. Unrelated, I don't personally agree with the distinction you have made. But that's fine, and that's your opinion (and why there's a voting system). But it is worth bearing in mind that what seems obviously right to one may be obviously wrong to another. It helps learners not to be told an opinion is a fact
    – fred2
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 17:56
  • Hello Fred. Much obliged. (good English practice) Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 17:36

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