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Obviously, the driver is fond of driving fast. (here: fast - adverb)

Obviously, the driver is fond of fast driving. (here: fast - adjective)

If I understand correctly, the second version is more common among native speakers than the first one (I have noticed that from Google Books). Is it because of a word "driving", or why?

But if I add a word "too", then only the first version will be correct (because "too fast" is used only after a verb):

Obviously, the driver is fond of driving too fast.

Right?

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    What makes you think "fast driving" is more common than "driving fast" in this context? We're much more likely to say he likes [something] rather than he is fond of [something], so here's a usage chart showing that the sequence likes driving fast occurs far more often in print than likes fast driving. Also note that the latter could mean he likes other people driving fast, but that sense can't really apply to the former. Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 18:26
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    (To incorporate the "intensifier" too into the second constructions you'd just have to resort to He likes too-fast driving - a bit ugly, but perfectly comprehensible to all native speakers, since it's formed using a "productive" syntax rule.) Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 18:30
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    @FumbleFingers - surely fondness for 'driving too fast' (in the opinion of the driver) is something that sane people seldom feel, since it would probably sooner or later take them (and others) to the emergency room or graveyard? So not a likely native-speaker utterance? Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 20:40
  • ... or a courtroom. Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 22:45

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All three versions are valid and would likely be understood to mean the same thing.

You could say, "... fond of too-fast driving" to use "too" with an adjective. It sounds awkward to me so I probably wouldn't say it, but it's grammatically correct.

As you realized, in one case you're using "fast" as an adjective and in another case as an adverb. It's really just a funny case that the two words are the same. Consider, "He was fond of quick eating" versus "He was fond of eating quickly." We usually use a different form for the adverb, but we don't with "fast".

I think all 3 forms are just as good. I don't see an obvious reason to prefer one. Perhaps in a larger context there would be a reason why one was preferable.

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