As an English teacher, it’s important to know why some things feel natural and other things do not when correcting student work.
One common correction regards the use of “to verb” versus “verbing”. When to use which?
We can use hate, like, love and prefer with an –ing form or with a to-infinitive:
I hate to see food being thrown away.
I love going to the cinema.
I prefer listening to the news on radio than watching it on TV.
He prefers not to wear a tie to work.
In American English, the forms with to-infinitive are much more common than the –ing form.
There is a very small difference in meaning between the two forms. The -ing form emphasises the action or experience. The to-infinitive gives more emphasis to the results of the action or event. We often use the –ing form to suggest enjoyment (or lack of it), and the to-infinitive form to express habits or preferences.