EX. I look forward to talking to you on Friday afternoon.
As the example above shows， sometimes it is correct to use “to” plus the –ing form of a verb.
Many non-native English speakers are reluctant to use –ing after “to”。 Maybe this is because you learnt at school that after “to” a verb should always be in the infinitive.
This is only half true. “To” actually has two uses – EITHER as an infinitive marker (e.g. The Company wishes to purchase the shares)， OR as a preposition (e.g. He has gone to lunch)。
When “to” acts as a preposition it is usually followed by an –ing form (which in this case is a gerund) or a noun/noun phrase， as in these examples：
EX1. There is no obstacle to registering the company.
EX2. There is no obstacle to the registration of the company.
EX1. I do not recommend committing yourself to purchasing the shares yet.
EX2. I do not recommend committing yourself to the purchase of the shares yet.
EX1. I look forward to hearing from you.
EX2. I look forward to your reply.
There are， of course， exceptions to this rule. The next post looks at these.