Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Advantage and to

In class, I generally use the guideline that the preposition to is followed by the simple form of the verb, in other words, the infinitive form. For example,

I am happy to see you.
The girls are ready to work.
The first group to visit us was the girl scouts.

However, a student, Hanna, turned in a paper using advantages to introduce her supports and followed my guideline. It didn't work. Advantage is usually followed by the -ing form.

The first advantage to working part time...
Another advantage to studying each day...

This pattern proves consistent when other prepositions follow advantage:

The advantage of walking for exercise...
The advantage of memorizing...

Thus, advantage proves to be an exception to the to + simple verb form guideline. I will add to this list now of one word when I find other exceptions.

2 comments:

Brett said...

This 'to' isn't a preposition. Of course, there is a preposition 'to' from which the subordinator 'to' evolved, but they are no longer the same word. Typically, when a verb follows a preposition, it is the gerund-participle, not the infinitival.

Brett said...

Just to clarify, the 'to' that takes an infinitival is a subordinator. The 'to' after 'advantage' in your examples is a preposition, thus the seeming exception to the rule.