What is the difference between these two sentences? I guess the first one is correct but what about the second one? In what circumstances can we use it?

  1. "Speaking English is not so easy."
  2. "To speak English is not so easy."

1 Answer 1


Speaking English is the present form of a person doing it, and defines a general situation in this case. To speak english is tenseless and has no adjectives: It's not bound to a person, or something that speaks in general, so To speak english is not easy is wrong

That's how I would define it

  • Thanks for your answer. "To speak English I use a dictionary" sounds correct?
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 13:51
  • You would do "I use a dictionary to speak english". Before the "to speak" you say what you do. "I use a calculator to do math" for example. If you say that part afterwards, you'd replace to with for, and use the -ing form of the verb: "For speaking english I use a dictionary"
    – user105833
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 14:00
  • Thank you, it was very useful :)
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 14:04
  • I would dispute the assertion that "To speak English is not easy" is incorrect. You can refer to an action by using either a participle (speaking) or an infinitive (to speak). There is no great difference in meaning. Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 16:12

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