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July 23, 2019


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KL Snyder

I passed with a perfect score. That's unfortunate because businesswritingblog.com endorses pandering to readers' preferences, and most readers (writers, too, I suspect) wish that "whom" would just go away.

As for the pandering, I refer the businesswriting blogger to https://www.dailywritingtips.com/reasons-to-write-properly.

Business Writing Blog

KL, I'm pleased that you did so well on the test. I'm not pleased that you have decided to characterize my work as pandering. I have explained the rules carefully and correctly, and I support them. The fact that I recognize that people may choose to communicate more informally (which is especially important for global readers to understand) makes me a realist. What does your approach make you?

If you intend to continue a string of negative comments as you did with an earlier post, I will block your comments. If you want to have an earnest discussion, I am open to it.


Ivan Souza

Thanks for sharing this post and the exercises Lynn. I don't normally engage much, but I read, follow, and appreciate your work so much! It is very helpful for non-native English speakers like me, who are challenged to learning how to write well in English every workday! Thank you! And cheers to mutual respect and appreciation!

Business Writing Blog

Ivan, thank you for taking the time to share a thoughtful comment. I appreciate it!

I'm editing this comment, which I wrote last night, after another reader questioned me about it. You will notice some differences in the paragraphs below.

I would like to return your kindness by making a small correction. I hope that's okay with you. "To learning" is not correct. Was that perhaps a typo? What you wanted was "to learn."

Although "to learn" and "learning" are sometimes interchangeable, the -ing form in your example ("to learning") is not correct with "to."

These examples are interchangeable:
To learn is very rewarding.
Learning is very rewarding.

Notice that in both examples the words before "is" serve as a noun, the thing that is the subject of the sentence.

In your example, "who are challenged to learning how to write well," it would be correct to say "challenged learning" or "challenged to learn." But "challenged to learning" is incorrect.

I wish I could say that "to" never works with an -ing form, but that is not the case. These examples are correct:

I am open to learning the violin.
He is looking forward to eating sushi.
We are averse to getting a puppy.

In the examples above the word "to" acts as a preposition, the same way it does in these examples:

I am open to violin lessons.
He is looking forward to vacation.
We are averse to the work of training a puppy.

I hope these comments are helpful rather than confusing. As a native English speaker, sometimes I am challenged to explain concepts that I have been applying since early childhood.

Again, thank you for your generous comment.



Dear Lynn:

I have passed the tests! I have learned the usage of Who/Whom from one of your previous blogs. Thank you!

Regarding the usage of "to + verb" and "to + gerund", I understand it depends on if "to" is a preposition or an infinitive in a sentence. Sometimes, I have trouble discerning that. Would you help me?

Thank you,



Wow, thanks Lynn! This was very eye-opening! I thought I knew this one but I got many wrong in the first test. Thanks to your explanations, the second test was easier. I just assumed every time I see a 'to' or 'for' it should be followed by whom. Now I'll be much more discriminating. :)

Your blog has helped my writing and editing skills so much! Thanks for all you do!

Business Writing Blog

Tracy, thank you so much for correcting me about "to" and -ing forms. I had forgotten about the use with prepositions. I will do my best to correct my comment to Ivan.

I'm glad you passed the tests!


Business Writing Blog

Patty, congratulations on your progress, and thank you for your thoughtful comment. Let me know if you get stuck on any examples.



Thanks for the brush up on this subject. I, too, was caught by the use of "to" and "for." But it all makes sense! I just hope my 50-year-old brain can retain it.

Business Writing Blog

Nice work, MeshLynn! I know you can retain it. One way is to review this blog post--or others on the topic--several days in a row. Or write your own examples for several days. Those activities will help your learning stick.


Ivan Souza

Lynn, thank you for your remarks on "to + verb" and "to + gerund". I must confess I had to stop and think about which form was right in this case. Unfortunately, I chose the wrong one... maybe this could be a topic for further discussion later on!

Business Writing Blog

Ivan, you are welcome. I will put that topic in my list of possibilities.



Lynn, I wish there was a "like" button for some of your comments! I appreciate your clear and thoughtful communication.

I just took the test and got two wrong. I have never been confident with the who/whom question. However, after taking the test and reading your explanations, I have a better understanding. Now if I can only remember!

Business Writing Blog

Hi Michele,

Congratulations! Two wrong shows a strong basic knowledge, and it sounds like you understand the errors.

Thanks for your thoughtful message.



Hi Lynn;
I can say I passed the test with a pair of mistakes. But thanks to your post, I have a better understanding of this topic.

Thanks a lot!!



Business Writing Blog

Filomena, congratulations! And thanks for letting me know.


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