I need a native’s opinion of what I perceive to be a grammatical error in this fall’s matriculation exam of Finnish high school. Does this sentence make sense to you?
"This entailed finding a job and somewhere to live in bomb-scarred , shabby, indebted Britain, and to re-establishing the family life some had left more than five years previously." If nothing sounded odd, then I must be on the wrong track but to me the combined infinitive plus ing-form (to re-establishing) is incorrect grammatically. The verb "entail" takes the ing-form and I’ve never heard of a combo like that. Now this would be somehow comprehensible, if the verb "entail" took the preposition ‘to’, which it doesn’t, at least not to my knowledge (and even so, this would be illogical as the first occurrence of ‘entail’ lacks that preposition.) I asked the Matriculation Board about it and was given a vague reply about a "stylistic rarity". To me makes no sense.
1 October, 2010 at 8:17
Total posts: 647
Reply To: entail + to + ing-form?
This entailed finding a job and somewhere to live in bomb-scarred , shabby, indebted Britain, and to re-establishing the family life some had left more than five years previously.
I agree with you – it should be "…and re-establishing…".
It is one of the list of things that were entailed – all the items in the list should have the same structure.