Many questions have been asked and answered about "to + bare infinitive" vs "for + gerund" in the middle of a sentence.

However, when one wants to start explaining something, what is better? For instance:

"Now, let us focus on baking the bread.

  • To do this, start by turning the oven on.", or
  • For doing this, start by turning the oven on."?

Are there even better expressions? I have not found anything concerning this situation, and I feel that the answers about the same problem but in the middle of a sentence do not apply here.

  • 1
    Consider adding a sample sentence/paragraph to focus the discussion.
    – Lawrence
    Mar 19, 2016 at 12:25
  • @Lawrence I hope my example is clear enough.
    – hdl
    Mar 21, 2016 at 9:45
  • I should add that I am looking for formal ways to write this.
    – hdl
    Mar 21, 2016 at 9:46
  • 1
    I was going to say that in your examples, To do this sounds better. But if it's a formal setting, skip the first phrase altogether and jump straight in: "Start by turning the oven on ...". The chapter or section title should (I say should here in both senses - the writer ought to; and for the reader, it is likely to) provide a better context than "to do this" or "for doing this".
    – Lawrence
    Mar 21, 2016 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


Some expressions (They vary slightly in meaning):

  • For this (one), we will start by ...
  • To do this (one), we will start by ...
  • When doing this (one), we will start by ... --Using the present participle.
  • If you are doing this (one), we will start by ... --Conditional (On the condition that you do this).
  • With this (one), we will start by --This with one just emphasizes what to do, in that particular case.
  • Welcome to ELL! Can you explain how they vary? Mar 19, 2016 at 20:09
  • @NathanTuggy I have now elaborated on how they vary
    – Melkor
    Mar 19, 2016 at 20:26

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