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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 12th, 2009, 04:37 am
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Default to be vs. being

1. His problem is always being late.
2. *His problem is always to be late.

1. His dream is to be a doctor.
2. *His dream is being a doctor.

What is the rule here that makes #2 wrong?

Does 'to verb' need to be a future event? And 'verb-ing' is a current event in that situation?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 12th, 2009, 08:10 am
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Default Re: to be vs. being

Quote:
Quote mesmark View Post
1. His problem is always being late.
2. *His problem is always to be late.

1. His dream is to be a doctor.
2. *His dream is being a doctor.

What is the rule here that makes #2 wrong?

Does 'to verb' need to be a future event? And 'verb-ing' is a current event in that situation?
This is a thinker....Okay...

"to be" indicates, in my opinion, a goal that is fulfilled once reached whereas -ing, as you stated, indicates a current situation. Therefore, number 2 of the second set indicates that he dreams of being a doctor and to be in the situation and experience all of the things associated with being a doctor. "To be" is only indicating to become a doctor and nothing more.

I wouldn't say there is a rule per se, but, that is the explanation I'd give. Don't know if it's good enough though.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 12th, 2009, 10:36 am
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Default Re: to be vs. being

Hi!
Perhaps this case refers to a possible use of present continuous: when you complain about bad habits.

e.g. You are always complaining about my cooking. (Vince)
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 14th, 2009, 11:26 am
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Default Re: to be vs. being

I am not a native speaker but I would make a parallel here with other cases where "to verb" refers to a future action, while -ing implies that the action is already in progress


as in : "I stopped to make phone calls"
"I stopped making phone calls"
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