To V or Not To V

The word “to” is often confusing in English. It can be used as part of a modal expression, infinitive or as a preposition.


Note the usage of “to” in the following sentences.

    To V

    I used to live in Utah.

    I am supposed to go.

    I hope to see you.

    To V ing

    I am used to living in Utah.

    I am opposed to going.

    I look forward to seeing you.


Modal expressions are always followed by the base form of the verb.

    ought to

    have to

    have got to

    used to

    be to

    be able to

    be supposed to

    be going to


Similar expressions are followed by infinitives (to + V)

    need to V

    want to V

    hope to V

    happen to V

    mean to V

    tend to V

    care to V

    wish to V

    would like to V

    be allowed to V

    be inclined to V

    be reluctant to V

    be willing to V

    be happy to V

    be afraid to V

    be required to V

    be delighted to V

    be compelled to V


Many prepositional combinations using “to” are followed by gerunds.

    look forward to V ing

    resort to V ing

    submit to V ing

    confess to V ing

    give in to V ing

    admit to V ing

    with regards to V ing

    be accustomed to V ing

    be addicted to V ing

    be opposed to V ing

    be limited to V ing

    be dedicated to V ing

    be commited to V ing

    be used to V ing

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