I think, most students would enjoy performing one of Shakespeare's plays very much. That's why my friend Martin and I formed a drama group of our own; we're interested in acting. But we had difficulty choosing a play which we could perform. Last week we succeeded in picking a play that was suitable for us: John Priestley's "An Inspector Calls". We're glad that we're going to spend the following weeks on this play.

Can i rewrite the bold quote to that? I'm just a bit unsure whether my solution is correct.

We're looking forward spending the following weeks on this play.

(The Text contains already some rewritten parts.)


To clarify my question a bit: I knew the thefreedictionary.com Definition

look forward to:

To think of (a future event) with pleasurable, eager anticipation: looking > forward to graduation.

But I'm still a bit unsure, because

  1. whether it should be "look forward" or "looking forward", although the latter one seems "more natural" to me. Additionally, the Present continuous seemed more suited because the text focuses on the actual moment.

  2. whether it should be "looking forward to spending" as suggested in the comments or "looking forward spending". The first version seems very unnatural to me (although I'm obviously not a native speaker) and the program "ding" from defines the "to" as optional

to look forward (to)

although i can't find that in one of the popular ones or on the website.

  • 3
    "We're looking forward to spending the following weeks on this play."
    – nicael
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 12:30
  • why? what exactly does the to in this situation? is the version without it always wrong, or are there also areas of application?
    – uuu
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 13:43
  • 2
    The to is not optional in this context. See, Cambridge Dictionary
    – user20792
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 13:45
  • 2
    Because the complete phrasal verb is three words: look forward to. I'm looking forward to Christmas. He looks forward to summer each year. Do you forward to going to the dentist? One cannot omit the to in any of these examples and it is necessary in your sentence. It is a three-word phrasal verb.
    – user20792
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 13:48
  • 1
    The free dictionary should not have said it is an idiom; look forward to is a phrasal verb. See Cambridge Dictionary in comment above and also MacMillan dictionary
    – user20792
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


Yes, "looking forward to" would be a good fit for that paragraph. "Looking forward" implies happy anticipation -- you are visually imagining what is going to happen, with the connotation that you are happy about it. It is a very common way of saying you are glad about a plan.

  • I'm not sure if "looking forward to" is the exact equivalent of "glad we're going to". It probably will be fine in this context so I think this answer is correct. That said, I feel like I can be glad something will occur, but not spend all week in anticipation for the event. "look forward to x" feels like the stronger sentiment. "glad x will occur" feels much weaker.
    – user11825
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 14:42
  • Agreed that it is not exactly "equal to" as the headline of the question asks. I was addressing the detail in the long form of the question "Can i rewrite the bold quote to that?" I think it is a much better thing to say in this and most contexts, exactly because, as Stacey points out, it feels like the stronger sentiment. Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 16:50

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