I can see why "going" was used, but I can't explain it to someone else. Is there a rule? is there an explanation to as why sometimes I can replace the base form of the verb "to go" for "going"? Thanks in advance.

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    In a nutshell: Gerunds (going) work best for real situations; infinitives (to go) work best for unreal/abstract situation. As always, there are exceptions to that very loose guideline. Jun 16, 2020 at 15:16
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    Thanks. That was super simple and understandable. Jun 16, 2020 at 17:33

2 Answers 2


Sentence: Going out in the rain is not possible. We will get wet.

Going out is a noun, or going out in the rain is a noun phrase. It is not a verb.

"possibility of" something has to be followed by a noun or noun phrase.

  • possibility of rain

  • possibility of a market crash

  • possibility of going out. Going out is fun. Going out = NOUN, a GERUND NOUN

  • possibility of seeing you.

  • possibility of playing tennis

  • Seeing you would be so nice. seeing you is a noun phrase.

  • Playing tennis is fun. playing tennis is a noun phrase.

Often, learners forget about gerunds that act as nouns.

Finally, "possibility of" cannot be followed by a bare infinitive like go. That's the grammatical fact here.

  • That was perfect. I am Brazilian and I am trying to explain this to another Brazilian person and it was kinda difficult, because I can understand why, ut didn't know how to explain why. Your explanantion helped a lot. Jun 16, 2020 at 17:34
  • Pois é, em português, se diz: possibilidade de sair na chuva.
    – Lambie
    Jun 16, 2020 at 18:16

I believe it might be because "going" is used for the future. Such as, "I'm going shopping tomorrow". I think "go" is now in the present. Such as, "Go get ready for school". So in this case they haven't gone out yet, they're still inside. Thus, you would use "going".

It also doesn't sound good, but you'll realise that with practice.

  • My explanation of the usage of "go" might not be very clear. Let me explain, the person getting ready for school must go prepare NOW, that makes it in the present. Yes they will go to school some time later but the focus is on preparation for school which must be done NOW. This is also in a more commanding sense, because the person preparing can say "I'm going to get ready for school", they haven't started preparing yet but will be doing so, and are also not commanding themselves. Jun 16, 2020 at 15:56
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    going is not a future tense here at all.
    – Lambie
    Jun 16, 2020 at 16:16

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