By Reinard Willem Zandvoort
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3. Note the closely related construction with front-position of the pres. ' The form of to be has more meaning of its own here than in the ordinary progressive. 90. In the case of certain verbs which in themselves express continuity or duration there seems to be little difference of meaning between the simple and the progressive forms. For instance, in newspaper accounts of weddings we find both The bride wore a dress of white silk and The bride was wearing a dress of white silk. The verbaladjectival character of the present participle makes the progressive more descriptive here than the purely verbal character of the simple 1Zajicek, op.
He imagined he had only to step on Portuguese soil for the people to rise and throw off the Spanish yoke. Production must soar; and for production to soar ( = if production is to soar, 33) individuals must have some incentive to work harder. But for the plea to be effective, it was necessary above all that the work should be widely read. (J. W. H. Atkins, Introduction to The Owl and the Nightingale, p. ) 58. From the fourth example of 57 it appears that for + acc. with inf. may depend on a preceding verb.
Climbing into the tree was not as difficult as walking: it was soon over, and one could choose where one's weight came on the foot. E. A. Robertson, Four Frightened People, Ch. VI. Canton is safe — if one has a house as powerful as the Lin clanpof whom all governors are afraid; but the reign of terror is such at Samshui that we just had (cf. 2) to come away. To stay would have been folly. , p. 244. The former does not exactly contain a general statement, but comparison with the latter will show that the character of the infinitive is more definite than that of the gerund.
A Handbook of English Grammar by Reinard Willem Zandvoort