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I came across these sentences;

  1. I barely got around to listen to all of them lately.

  2. I didn't get around to posting on instagram.

The second sentence is correct since Get around to takes the prepositional phrase to doing, not infinitive verb to do.

Could someone please tell me why the first sentence uses infinitive (listen) instead of gerund (listening)?

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  • doing is not a prepositional phrase. I don't understand why people ask questions then abandon them....
    – Lambie
    Sep 9, 2021 at 17:16
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    Because that is not the construction that get around to takes. I'm sorry, but that is the whole of the explanation. There are no rules or logic for deciding what kind of complements particular words take.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 11, 2022 at 23:27

3 Answers 3

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The first sentence is wrong.

I barely got around to listen to all of them lately.

This use of "get around to" is ungrammatical. As you've correctly noted, this phrase takes a noun phrase, which coupled with preposition "to" becomes a prepositional phrase. The "to" here is a preposition as opposed to a infinitive marker, and you don't use an infinitive after "get around to".

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  1. I barely got around to listen to all of them lately. [buzzer]

  2. I didn't get around to posting on Instagram. [Okay]

The expression get around to something has to be following by a noun.

posting in 2) is a gerund noun, not a verb.

Posting on Instagram is fun. posting= subject, gerund noun. on Instagram= prepositional phrase is, linking verb fun=predicate (adjective)

  1. I finally got around to my homework. [okay, also because homework is a noun].
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The first sentence does not use "getting around to" in the sense of finding the time, but uses "getting around" in the sense of going to multiple places. For example a school principal may need to visit several classes to listen to them. The sentence would be saying that lately he/she barely had enough time to get around (to all the classes) to listen to them.

The sentence is awkward because it uses "got" together with "lately". It would be better with "I barely get" or "I have barely been getting", as "lately" implies the recent past continuing into the present.

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