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u/Garfield_M_Obama · 3 pointsr/EnglishLearning

If you find this interesting, I would recommend that might find Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf a fun read. It's interesting because it's widely viewed as the first extant English poem, and also because Heaney does an amazing job of putting the original side-by-side with the English, both artistically as a poem and as a demonstration of the language.

I don't speak German or Frisian, but I studied a bit of linguistics in university and am broadly familiar with the changes that English went through as well as the basic characteristics of more conventional Germanic languages and I found this translation to be quite accessible if you're patient and willing to do a bit of homework. By the time I was done reading it, I'd begun to be able to more or less anticipate the modern English line after reading the original line without too much misunderstanding. I think a German/Dutch/Frisian speaker who knew English would find it even easier simply because the vocabulary wouldn't require switching between Germanic and French terms for the same things and also that the grammatical inflection would seem more natural than to a native English speaker.

In any case, it's a great way of seeing how English clearly is a fully West Germanic language even though our vocabulary is so strongly influenced by Old Norman and French.

u/neilsnider · 1 pointr/EnglishLearning

Yeah English can be a bit confusing when you think about it while writing.

So if I change this sentence
> Many people think that the best way [to get a job] is to graduate from a university

to this sentence

>Many people think that the best way to [getting a job] is to graduate from a university

so yeah the main confusion was between to get vs getting.


Nice I just found a similar thread on this sub. A guy is having the same question as me. Here is the copy pasta of the text.


The Question :-

to getting” vs. “to get”

Some examples (they are book titles):

to Getting

The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published
The Guide to Getting it On
vs. to get

The Ultimate Guide To Get Out Of Debt
A Quick & Easy Guide to get You Started Making Money
So what is the difference in meaning? What is the grammatical structure? and How can I decide which structure to use?


gerunds to-infinitive
edited Jan 1 '16 at 14:03


cybergeek654 :

The previous answers are not quite right, but it's a very tricky question.

The third example, "to get out of debt" is a bit of an exception. One reason to use 'get' instead of 'getting' here is because get makes a nice rhyme with debt, for the purpose of selling books. So I wouldn't use that one as an example of typical usage.

I think the default is actually 'getting' instead of 'get.'

However, it seems that 'getting' would feel unnatural in the last example. I think the issue here is that the 'get' in that example is used in a more complex way, where the real verb is not 'get,' but "get started", and "get started" has a double complement. Who got started? you. What did you get started doing? making money. This is not true of the other examples.
answered Jul 2 '14 at 6:42


Merk :

Then what would you say about these book titles: guide to learn (, guide to make (…) – fluffy Jul 2 '14 at 6:52
Those examples don't use get, which has special properties as a catenative verb. – Merk Jul 2 '14 at 6:59
That is exactly what I meant. Your explanation is fine if we are using "get". However, we notice the same use of the infinitive with other verbs, which means that there is a pattern that goes beyond "get". – fluffy Jul 2 '14 at 7:21

To Get is the normal form and would be best for everyday use. However book titles are allowed artistic license.

Regarding the to Getting forms, I would think of it this way:

  1. The Essential Guide to (doing something) + (which is) Getting Your Book Published


  2. The Guide to (doing something) + (which is) Getting it On

    In these examples each phrase can stand on its own, but you have follow the implied meanings.
    answered Jul 1 '14 at 15:49



    From the examples you share, I notice a trend in the semantics of the sentences.

    The "to getting" examples are transitive. Since they are in a gerundive form, it's hard to see this, so I'll create a transitive sentence from them to make the point.

    The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published -> I will guide you. You will publish your book.

    The Guide to Getting it On -> I will guide you. You will get it on. ("To get it on" means to have sex, by the way :) ).

    The "to get" forms seem to be either intransitive or reflexive. You could argue that intransitives are reflexive. For example, "I live in Chicago" means, "I do all sorts of things to myself so that my life happens in Chicago." Converting your sentences from the infinite forms to intransitive/reflexive sentences:

    The Ultimate Guide To Get Out Of Debt -> I will guide you. You will get (yourself) out of debt.

    A Quick & Easy Guide to get You Started Making Money -> I will guide you. You will start making money (for/unto yourself).

    It would be an interesting study to see if other examples follow this pattern. It makes sense because the gerund form "getting" seems to be more active, and thus you are doing an outward activity. The infinite form seems less active, so the action is directed inwardly.

    As for the example "A Quick & Easy Guide to get You Started Making Money," there is the valence aspect in the use of "to get someone started." Here is a similar semantic relationship to reflexivity. Someone (the writer) will act upon you with the result that you do something (make money). I want to think that this valency aspect might put it in the category of reflexivity/intransitivity. Just a thought.
    answered Jul 16 '14 at 19:07


    Mark :

  3. to getting

    We say a guide to grammar, a complete guide to football, etc. The structure is a guide + noun, and "to" is a preposition. Instead of the noun we can use a gerund: a guide to understanding grammar, a guide to learning English.

  4. to get

    The phrase can be interpreted as: a guide (on how) to learn English, a guide (on how) to get out of debt. This is what makes the use of the infinitive possible.

    Deciding which one to use (unless there is a difference between British and American English that I am not aware of) is a matter of personal preference.

u/HomeBrainBox · 1 pointr/EnglishLearning

nut sure what do you mean by complete but The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation is pretty comorehensive in my opinion:

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: An Easy-to-Use Guide with Clear Rules, Real-World Examples, and Reproducible Quizzes

u/AnnieMod · 3 pointsr/EnglishLearning

All of the big Advanced Learner dictionaries will work for that: Merriam-Webster's, Collins COBUILD, Cambridge, Oxford - American and so on.

However... studying vocabulary from a dictionary is not optimal. I like vocabulary builders for that a lot more: Merriam-Websters and Oxford American are the the two I had used - plus TOEFL, CPE and IELTS vocabulary books. And Swan's Practical English Usage - that last section is a gold mine - highlighting the small differences between words and expressions and whatsnot). And I had found Oxford Collocations Dictionary very useful as well.

And do not underestimate the online resources - all of the big dictionaries are also online and you can look up examples and explanations very easy.

u/ckpe · 2 pointsr/EnglishLearning

You may be interested in the book The Grammar Devotional: Daily Tips for Successful Writing from Grammar Girl:

There's a new tip to read every day for one year.

u/Atvelonis · 2 pointsr/EnglishLearning

Apparently it is the title of a book. So, a valid sentence would be, "In The Way You Do Anything is the Way You Do Everything, Suzanne Evans says..."

I'm guessing that you're looking at this article, though. The expression is actually, "the way you do anything is the way you do everything" (there is no "in" at the beginning), but now that I think about it, it also works the way that she's written it.

You can think about it like this: "In A, you can find B." This is a valid sentence structure. So what she's saying is really, "Within the way that you do any random thing, you can see a reflection of the way that you do everything in your life." This particular sentence definitely reads poetically and would be unusual in general speech (though simpler sentences using this structure would be more normal). But it is correct, as far as I can tell.

u/cantcountnoaccount · 1 pointr/EnglishLearning

The Elements of Style by Strunk & White

Most books on basic grammar are for young children; older children learn by reading, writing and being corrected bit by bit. I would doubt there are many native speakers who had a school English textbook they thought was very useful.

When I was a child (back in the Stone Age) there was a popular series on TV called "Schoolhouse Rocks" that was made up of songs and video on different topics, including English grammar.

Conjunction Junction

Unpack Your Adjectives

The Tale of Mr. Morton

There are more, those are just some of the more popular ones.

u/jaybook64 · 2 pointsr/EnglishLearning

You might be looking for a picture dictionary.

This is a good vocabulary app.

Reading novels is a great way to build vocabulary too.

Here is a wikihow article with practical steps for building vocabulary.

u/Yakev · 1 pointr/EnglishLearning

Hi Ivan! If you like military stories you should check out The Things They Carried. This is a book that many American students are required to read in high school and college. I think you'll enjoy it.

u/IELTS-Step-by-step · 2 pointsr/EnglishLearning

Your chapter examples are very specific; the best you can do in book form is English Vocabulary in Use (Advanced).
Otherwise, use the lexical sets in the Macmillan online dictionary. This is the link for spices:

u/leahnixon · 1 pointr/EnglishLearning

What level is you English at?


English beginner stories - this is an English beginner story collection

This is Olly Richards, he has a beginner and an intermediate story collection