"I am so sad to leave" vs "I am so sad to be leaving"

What's the difference between "to leave" and "to be leaving." As a non-native it's just different but not aware of the actual feeling.


The difference is the context in which the two expressions are likely to be used.

The first to leave would usually be followed by an object, explaining what the speaker is leaving and possibly why, as in:

I am so sad to leave the town I grew up in.
I am so sad to leave you all behind.
I am so sad to leave the home I've lived in for many years.

The second expression often stands by itself and would usually be used as a response to something that someone else has said. The dialogue makes it clear what is being left behind:

A: You must love this little town.
B: Yes, I am so sad to be leaving.

Another example:

A: You have excelled at this university. Congratulations!
B: Thank you. I am so sad to be leaving.

So the difference is not in the meaning of the expressions, but just in the circumstances in which most speakers would choose to use one or the other.

  • Thank you for your answer and sorry for being late. "Everybody should wear mask", "Everybody should be wearing mask". In this sentence and the examples above "be -ing" sounds that it says something happening now and vivid more than "present verb".
    – Ben Choi
    Aug 22 '20 at 3:46
  • @BenChoi Well one can say that the second sentence is highlighting the current scenario, which highly demands us to wear it. But again both would be absolutely correct and totally understandable. Jun 1 at 11:34

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