This use of continuous always gets me confused, and I stumbled on it all the time.

Consumers are increasingly turning to Brokers as the ‘easiest route’ to securing a mortgage. (Written by a native English speaker)

Consumers are increasingly turning to Brokers as the ‘easiest route’ to secure a mortgage. (The way I would have written it)

Grammarly tells me both previous sentences are correct. Would I really be correct? If so, could someone tell me how to choose between both? I'm pretty sure the same would apply to other verbs.

Many thanks!

1 Answer 1


Both are grammatical and idiomatic. The first uses an ing-clause as the prepositional complement (that is, 'to' is the preposition; compare 'the beginner's guide to building pyramids'), while the second sentence uses a to-infinitival complement (compare 'the easiest way to succeed').

Google ngrams for 'route to secure a' / 'route to securing a' show that both are used (adding the indefinite article ensures 'secure' is the verb):

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and strongly suggest that the ing-clause is now the favoured choice after 'route [to]'. This may not be the same for 'way to' and other similar expressions.

  • I find it interesting that the near-synonymous quickest way to secure / securing [something] hasn't apparently experienced this same shift in favour of the gerund/continuous form. Nov 26, 2021 at 17:41
  • 'A way to [do something]' is a dead metaphor now, crystallised. I find 'a route to ...' more readily brings the literal sense to mind, with prepositional to. Nov 26, 2021 at 19:28

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