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In the dictionary

way to do something

That's not the right way to hold a pair of scissors.
(informal, disapproving) That's no way to speak to your mother!

way of doing something

I'm not happy with this way of working.



I am not sure if "way to do something" & "way of doing something" can be used interchangeably?

Can I say:

I'm not happy with this way to work.

&

That's not the right way of holding a pair of scissors.

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  • "I'm not happy with this way to work." - That doesn't sound right. "...this way of working" would be OK. The scissors example is fine with "of holding" or "to hold".
    – nnnnnn
    May 14, 2016 at 5:50

1 Answer 1

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I think they are somewhat different in concept.

way to do something

way to do something refers to specific actions (in these examples holding scissors and speaking).

That's not the right way to hold a pair of scissors.
That's no way to speak to your mother!

And

way of doing something

way of doing something refers to style or methods.

I'm not happy with your way of doing things.

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  • If "way of..." refers to style or method, then doesn't "That's not the right way of holding a pair of scissors" refer to my personal cutting style?
    – nnnnnn
    May 14, 2016 at 5:54
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    @nnnnnn it refers to the way you grip the scissors, which influences but is not the same as how you cut. Nov 10, 2016 at 18:10

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