I've got a sentence from a friend:

There has been an increasing number of people to choose to use cell phones in daily life.

Is the sentence grammatically right?

Why is it "to choose" instead of "choosing"?

  • I'd say you have it reversed: in this particular sentence, people would normally say choosing, not to choose. To choose is fine in many contexts, but not this one. It isn't strictly wrong here, but it's unusual and would normally not be used. – Jason Bassford May 20 '20 at 17:11
  • @JasonBassford Thanks. Can I have more details about it? – Darcy May 20 '20 at 17:15
  • It's simply not idiomatic here. It's a slightly convoluted way of saying something that's more simply expressed by choosing (or who choose). The use of the infinitive doesn't flow well in this context. – Jason Bassford May 20 '20 at 17:17
  • @JasonBassford ok :> – Darcy May 20 '20 at 17:27

To choose and choosing would mean different things.

Your sentence implies that someone/group can choose from an increasing number of people to make use of cell phones. It carries the sense of to choose from.... So the head of a telecoms company might tell his staff that there are now more people to choose (from) to use cell phones. Although this scenario is unlikely, it's quite grammatical.

Choosing would mean that the people themselves would be making the choice rather than having it made for them by a third party.

  • So can I assume that in most situations, "to choose" is wrong? – Darcy May 20 '20 at 17:01
  • It's not idiomatic and could well be misunderstood. – Ronald Sole May 21 '20 at 23:19

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