When using the noun turn, should I use the +ing form or the infinitive?

  • Whose turn is it to do the washing up?
  • Whose turn is it doing the washing up?
  • I don't know the exact rules, but the second example is definitely wrong.
    – Rohit
    Apr 20, 2013 at 11:32

1 Answer 1


Turn is a little tricky.

Both turn to do X and turn doing X are found, but under different circumstances.

You use the infinitive when you are referring to the point in time at which the action starts, when the action lies in the future::

It's Jack's turn to drive now.
When it was Betty's turn to speak we all left to get coffee.
Next week is Fred's turn to host the party.

But when you're referring to the action as an entirety, with duration, you use the gerund:

Sarah took my turn chairing the committee, because I was called out of town.
During Mike's turn watching the dials Anne keyed in the data they'd accumulated.

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