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In a dictionary, I find two example sentences of the use of "trick":

What's the trick to getting this chair to fold up?

On page 21, some tricks to speed up your beauty routine.

As we know, "to" can use be used as a preposition or as a word before an infinitive. When do we use it as a preposition and when as a word before an infinitive?

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  • This site helps to answer your question: dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/to Aug 6 '19 at 8:55
  • Yes, it helps, but it does not answer my question.
    – Louis Liu
    Aug 7 '19 at 14:17
  • When the word "trick" can be followed by both "to-infinitive" and "to+ noun" (to as a preposition), what is the difference?
    – Louis Liu
    Aug 7 '19 at 14:18
  • Why don't you respond to my answer? It actually answers your question!
    – Lambie
    Jan 18 '20 at 18:37
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idiom: a trick to [gerund]. A gerund functions as noun, not a verb. To is a preposition.

  • The trick to getting better grades is to study more.

The test is: getting better grades.

Can "getting better grades" be used as a noun phrase? Answer: Yes, it can.

  • Getting better grades is not always easy.

Another test: What is the trick to this? "To this" is not a to-infinitive. Therefore, it's a preposition.

A trick to speed up your beauty routine. to speed up is a verb. And to speed up is a to-infinitive.

Summary: a trick to [gerund as noun] versus a trick to [verb]

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All prepositions are followed by ing forms including the preposition to.

1.I am interested in learning English.

2.I am looking forward to seeing you.

The problem with the preposition to is itsometimes becomes the part of a infinitive For examle, I want to meet you He wishes to meet her so the trick is if to is a preposition,it follows an ing form otherwise it is followed by an infinitive like go,meet and talk

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  • no, you don't answer my question.
    – Louis Liu
    Aug 7 '19 at 14:15
  • My question is: when the word "trick" can be followed by both "to-infinitive" and "to+ noun" (to as a preposition), what is the difference?
    – Louis Liu
    Aug 7 '19 at 14:17

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