1

I have some difficulties understanding when to use the -ing form rather than "to+verb", because often it seems to me that both are correct.


For example: John was in favour of visiting the museum.

I would describe this situation with both:

John thought it would be a good idea going to the museum.

and

John thought it would be a good idea to go to the museum.

A rule says I should use "to+verb" with adjectives, but I'm not completely sure that apply here, furthermore I find them both to be correct.

  • Is there any difference in meaning between the two?
  • Is one wrong?
  • Am I correctly assuming that "good idea" is an adjective?
1

Your two sentences have the same meaning, however the first

John thought it would be a good idea going to the museum.

is slightly awkward and would be solved by rewording

John thought going to the museum was a good idea.
John thinks going to the museum is a good idea.

use the -ing*(gerund) to describe actual events or experiences

Your second sentence

John thought it would be a good idea to go to the museum.
John thinks it is a good idea to go to the museum.

is correct and sounds natural. Use the to +verb(infinitive) to describe potential actions

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  • Thank you for your answer! I'll try to remember these two "rules". – drM. Feb 18 '16 at 11:50

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