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When do we use v+ing instead of infinitive after the preposition "to"?

I read a sentence from voa as below:

As part of the 1999 agreement, the North received money and food aid.?

Since then, North Korea has gone back , periodically, to using threats to get more money and food.


Does anyone can tell me why we do not use to infinitive (to use threats ...) instead of using (to using threats ...) in the sentence?

Thank you in advance.

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language


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    In this example "to" is grouped with "back" grammatically and is followed by a noun phrase, which in this case contains a gerund, "using". The adverb "periodically" splits the prepositional phrase. You could substitute "the use of threats" for "using threats" to see how that phrase behaves like a noun.
    Since then, Noth Korea has gone back to using threats/the use of threats to get more money...

    That phrase is a nominal phrase (meaning, it is used as a noun). That is, "using threats" as a phrase is being used in the place of a noun. In English, a verb can be "nominalized" (made into a noun) by using its gerundive form. So "using threats" is in the gerundive form (a noun), not in the present progressive form (a verb).

    Think of it this way. We can say "He has gone back to (the use of threats)." As you can see, "the use of threats" is a nominal phrase. Similarly, in "he has gone back to (using threats)", "using threats" as a phrase is a nominal phrase.

    Once a verb is in its gerundive form, it can replace nouns. Ex: "(Singing) is one of my favorite activities" or "I prefer (watching movies) over (going to Britney Spears concerts)."

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