4

I have this question from a TOEFL iBT test :

The flexibility of film allows the artist ____ unbridled imagination to the animation of cartoon characters.

with these 4 choices:

(A) to bring
(B) bringing
(C) is brought
(D) brings

I am pretty sure that the answer is either to bring or bringing, I now both of them is correct, but what is the better ? and how to know that? I mean why there is one of them is better than the other ?

  • 3
    Actually, only to bring is correct. You could use "bringing" if the object-phrase for allow did not have a specific actor in it: ... allows bringing unbridled imagination.... I'll have to let someone else go into the reasoning behind that, though. – Hellion Apr 6 '13 at 20:53
  • @Hellion Put it as a reply! They'll edit/supplement it. – hjpotter92 Apr 6 '13 at 21:06
4

In your case, allow is used as "allow somebody to do something"; to bring is the correct answer.
You could also use allow as "allow something"; in that case, you could use a gerund, as in "We don't allow smoking."

The difference is that in the first case the direct object is the person who is allowed to do something; in the second case, the direct object is the action that is allowed.

| improve this answer | |
  • kiam, interesting observation; to some extent one can generalize this rule, though. For example: "We don't run across smoking", but Jane Austin would have said "We don't run across to smoke". Am I getting confused? – user114 Apr 7 '13 at 10:30
  • As phrasal verb, run across is used as "run across somebody" or "run across something"; in that case, I would say that "run across to smoke" is not possible. "Run across" could also mean "run from a side to the other side," and in that case "run across to smoke" would mean "run from one side to the other side with the purpose of going to smoke." – kiamlaluno Apr 7 '13 at 13:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.