As an English trainer, I’m often asked the same questions about English grammar.

Here’s one of the most common:

Which is correct? “I’m looking forward to see you,” or “I’m looking forward to seeing you”?

To answer this, let’s look at the phrasal verb to look forward to something.

You’ll often see look forward to followed by a noun, for example:

• I’m looking forward to my holiday.
• I’m looking forward to the weekend!
• I’m looking forward to our appointment next week.

If the thing we’re looking forward to is an action, the gerund (“ing form”) of the verb must be used:

• I’m looking forward to going on holiday.
• I’m looking forward to watching the new movie this weekend!
• I’m looking forward to seeing you next week.

People who learn English as a second language often (wrongly) assume it’s more logical to use the infinitive (e.g. to see, to go, to watch), but native speakers usually don’t make this mistake because they’ve heard the correct form so many times before: to look forward to doing something.

The solution is gaining more experience. The more you hear the correct version, the more probable it is that you’ll stop making this mistake. My personal tip is to create a list of your own personalised examples. You can also try my quiz here (via Google Forms).

If you have any questions about this, or other language learning questions in general, feel free to email me at philmarlowenglish@gmail.com

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!


Image credit: Anna Vi