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When we have a sentence of the form: What + sb + verb + [be (in the appropriate tense)] + ... (for instance, what I like is ...), which rules do we have to apply to determine whether the sentence is followed by to + infinitive or a gerund? Are these rules the same ones that we use when deciding if the verb is followed by to + infinitive or a gerund?

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(what-cleft or pseudo-cleft)

This one is used to emphasize.

I liked to have a talk with her on the phone.

What I liked was (to) have a talk with her on the phone.

If you want to emphasize the verb "have", you can omit "to".

You can use to-infinitive or infinitive itself.

This is just a some high level grammar.

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  • Ok, so I understand that writing the sentence in this form (What + sb + verb + ...) does not change the rules of to + inf/ gerund. For instance, we know that suggest goes followed by a gerund, therefore "What I suggest is..." must go followed by a gerund too. Another question, could we say: "What I liked was having a talk with her on the phone"?
    – Smm
    Jan 2 at 20:14
  • You could find the answer to your question in what I've already said above.
    – Brandon
    Jan 2 at 21:18
  • But what about using the gerund in your sentence?
    – Smm
    Jan 2 at 21:23

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