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Can I use the preposition "to" after the word "instead" in a sentence?

Example: let's say I'm in a situation where I bought an used computer that gave me a lot of problems and I want to say the following:

I think I should have bought a new computer instead to avoid problems

I'm asking this question because I recently had an English Exam and my teacher corrected my sentence to

I think I should have bought a new computer instead of avoiding problems

Edit

I think the phrase "instead of avoiding problems" does not make much sense in my sentence.

  • So I cannot use the word "instead" alone without "of"? – Manuel Hernandez Apr 8 '16 at 20:29
  • Could you elaborate on what you actually wanted to say with your sentence, using other words? I actually think your sentence is missing a comma. – userr2684291 Apr 8 '16 at 20:33
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    Your instructor seems to have misunderstood what you were trying to say; but you may have contributed to the confusion by not marking off your 'purpose' clause with a comma: "I should have bought a new computer instead, [in order] to avoid problems." – StoneyB Apr 8 '16 at 20:33
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    Hm, I think I see the confusion there. You used the right construction, but you may want to put a comma right after instead, to clarify your line of thought. – Joao Arruda Apr 8 '16 at 20:36
  • Yes I think you guys are right I should have put a comma after instead – Manuel Hernandez Apr 8 '16 at 20:39
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I think I should have bought a new computer instead to avoid problems.

This sentence makes perfect sense to me, with or without a comma. Your teacher in this instance was simply mistaken or did not understand your intention. If you wanted to avoid possible confusion, you could move "to avoid problems" to the beginning of the sentence (followed by a comma):

To avoid problems, I think I should have bought a new computer instead.

And I also agree with you that

I think I should have bought a new computer instead of avoiding problems

makes no sense in this context. Your understanding is correct.

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instead of sth/of doing sth

The preposition group "instead of" needs a noun or a gerund. It is not possible to drop "of" and add a to-infinitive.

See OALD http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/instead-of

Your idea of "to avoid problems" or "of avoiding problems" doesn't make much sense in your sentence.

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your english teacher is wrong. I probably understood what you wanted to ask.

I think I should have bought a new computer to avoid problems instead of used computer. means, in the past, you should buy a new computer instead of used computer because you don't want your computer to create any problems.

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You should write,

1)I think I should have bought a new computer instead of facing more problems with my existing used computer.

2)To avoid complex problem with my used computer, I think I should have bought a new computer instead.

You should write it above way.

Hope that's help.

  • The OP isn't really asking for alternatives; there would be countless other ways to write this. – Glorfindel Feb 28 '17 at 14:37
  • This doesn't answer the question, which is about the use of prepositions. – Chenmunka Feb 28 '17 at 14:59

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