What is the difference between "to bring "and "bringing"

4

I have this question from a TOEFL iBT test :

The flexibility of film allows the artist ____ unbridled imagination to the animation of cartoon characters.

with these 4 choices:

(A) to bring
(B) bringing
(C) is brought
(D) brings

I am pretty sure that the answer is either to bring or bringing, I now both of them is correct, but what is the better ? and how to know that? I mean why there is one of them is better than the other ?

Smolina Fezaphitsh

Posted 2013-04-06T20:43:25.713

Reputation: 605

3Actually, only to bring is correct. You could use "bringing" if the object-phrase for allow did not have a specific actor in it: ... allows bringing unbridled imagination.... I'll have to let someone else go into the reasoning behind that, though. – Hellion – 2013-04-06T20:53:53.387

@Hellion Put it as a reply! They'll edit/supplement it. – hjpotter92 – 2013-04-06T21:06:57.383

Answers

4

In your case, allow is used as "allow somebody to do something"; to bring is the correct answer.
You could also use allow as "allow something"; in that case, you could use a gerund, as in "We don't allow smoking."

The difference is that in the first case the direct object is the person who is allowed to do something; in the second case, the direct object is the action that is allowed.

kiamlaluno

Posted 2013-04-06T20:43:25.713

Reputation: 20 456

kiam, interesting observation; to some extent one can generalize this rule, though. For example: "We don't run across smoking", but Jane Austin would have said "We don't run across to smoke". Am I getting confused? – None – 2013-04-07T10:30:18.690

As phrasal verb, run across is used as "run across somebody" or "run across something"; in that case, I would say that "run across to smoke" is not possible. "Run across" could also mean "run from a side to the other side," and in that case "run across to smoke" would mean "run from one side to the other side with the purpose of going to smoke." – kiamlaluno – 2013-04-07T13:33:57.293