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Would you kindly clearify this point?

1- Does the (v+ing) works the same as ( to + inf) at the beginning of the sentence)?

I came across this sentence from the IELTS:

( To understand - Understanding)  electricity depends on a knowledge of atoms and the subatomic particles.........

The answer was ( Understanding) .My question is: Why does (to understand) not work here?

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@Ahmed towab posted:
. . . Does the (v+ing) works the same as ( to + inf) at the beginning of the sentence)? . . .
My question is: Why does (to understand) not work here?

I agree with Gustavo that the gerund works much better in this case. Ahmed, it's important to realize that an infinitival clause's coming at the beginning of a sentence does not necessarily mean that the infinitival clause is functioning as the subject of that sentence.

While it is unusual for infinitival clauses to work well as the subject of a clause, independent or dependent, it is not unusual at all for such a clause to be used at the beginning of a sentence when it functions as an adverbial of purpose. Your sentence could be rephrased in such a way that this would work well:

  • To understand electricity, one must have some knowledge of atoms.
Last edited by David, Moderator

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