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Hello, rm, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

The infinitive of purpose is equivalent to the prepositional phrase formed by for + V-ing.

Usually, the to + infinitive structure is more idiomatic. However, in your first sentence:

@rm posted:

 "The red button is for turning the machine off."

OR

"The red button is to turn the machine off."

"be + to + infinitive" can be interpreted as future, supposing that the button can work on its own rather than be actuated by someone.

Hello, rm, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

I agree with Gustavo's answer and would simply like to note that the simple present tense is a very natural-sounding alternative to "is to V" and "is for V-ing" in the first example set.

  • The red button turns the machine off.

This use of the present tense works when a thing has a set function. Parts of a machine, including specialized buttons on a machine, tend to have set functions. We can ask, "What does this do?"

 

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