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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > WHY? Grammar question for the Grammar gurus please....    

WHY? Grammar question for the Grammar gurus please....

New Zealand

WHY? Grammar question for the Grammar gurus please....
As you all know I am new to  explaining the WHY īs in english grammar, I can tell if it is right or wrong... but am learning everyday more and more about how to explain the why īs.... (Context of the sentence is : at the end of a letter)

"Looking forward to hear from you".  IS WRONG

It should be "Looking forward to hearing from you".

I have my trusty grammar bible out because I am not sure how to explain in a simple way WHY it is wrong and that you need the ING for for the word hearing to make it correct... 
I have my own way of explaining .... but to my ears sounds really shaky and incorrectSmile
Thank you in advance for your help!!!!!
Edit: I am reading up on gerunds and think that the "to" is a preposition in this case, therefore the verb after it "hear" must be in gerund form = hearing.....Because when a verb is placed straight after a preposition it must be in gerund form....
Am I even close with my explanation???Big smile

15 Mar 2009      


You īre right that is the explanation.  But gee, Cheezels, I see you must really love corrrecting.

15 Mar 2009     


Hi, Cheezels!   I  also  explain it this way ... but I īm not English! As I live in the Canary Islands  and many English people live here in my groups there are some native speakers and they have never said the opposite...so, I suppose we can sleep without worrying about that. Nice sunday for everybody Hug

15 Mar 2009     

New Zealand

HAHA I HATE correcting!!!!!!!
It is just that the correcting I do needs to be absolutely correct with the reasoning behind the correction.....

I tell you my brain has completely melted from these last few days!!! I told myself I was NOT going to do any more this weekend... but here I am.....marking again.... sigh......Big smile

Thanks everyone for your help! It is good to know I am on the right track at least!!!!

15 Mar 2009     

Amanda W

Dear Cheezels, I īve been through this too. Being English, there are things that sound right, you know are right  but don īt know rules to support your decision. There īs just a big blank!! I īm having to learn about grammar constantly. When I learn something new I realize I īve come a step further but the English language never ceases to surprise me and there īs still so much to master. So, Cheezels, I wish you all the patience in the world for your journey. We īre bound to meet on the way at some stage as I īm on the same road. Hope we get there one day! Night, night, Mandy

15 Mar 2009     


Dear Cheezels,
I give my students the same explanation.  They don īt have any trouble understanding why īto ī is used as a preposition here, though of course they don īt always remember it when writing or speaking... But that īs a different kettle of fish!!!
Regards from Buenos Aires

15 Mar 2009     


Hi everyone,

The only plausible explanation I give to my students is that after prepositions we should put the verb in the -ing form

15 Mar 2009     


I rarely tell them it is a preposition. Because they don īt understand it.
I just say they should use a noun, which is a verbal noun, because made of a verb by adding -ing to it. So if it īs I look forward to THIS then it īs I look forward to COOKING tonight.

15 Mar 2009     

United States

Dearest Cheezels:
Sorry your brain is melting.  At least you have a brain to melt--mine evaporated years ago!!!!Dead
Let me take a stab at your question:
"Looking forward to hear from you".  IS WRONG

It should be "Looking forward to hearing from you".
1.  First, gerunds are verbs that have been "dressed up" as nouns (that īs why the
"-ing" is added, to distinguish them from other verb tenses--that īs also why the verb "to be" is not used in front, so gerunds aren īt confused with present continuous, etc).  They are designed to BE a noun in the sentence.  They follow the rules of all other nouns in terms of word order.
2. Second, prepositions are followed by nouns.  Thus, prepositions can be followed by a gerund, because a gerund IS A NOUN due to its "-ing" ending.
3.  Hence, in a phrase containing a preposition, if the IDEA of the verb (the ACTIVITY --or WHAT--itself) is used after the preposition, you need the gerund form, to "dress up" the verb and give it permission to ACT like a noun.
Hope this helps!
Your American friend

15 Mar 2009     

New Zealand

Thanks :-)

I need to be more confident I think... I knew the reason but doubted myself... also I am still at the "clumsy" stage of explaining something... I know this area will get better with time and experience!
Thank you everyone for your help Big smile

15 Mar 2009