I said in the last post that when “to” acts as a preposition it is usually followed by an –ing form or a noun/noun phrase.

Now we will look at exceptions to this rule.

The most important exception relates to the verb “agree”. You may use an infinitive verb after “agree to”. For example:
这其中最重要的一项是关于动词“agree”的。“agree to”后面要跟动词不定式。

EX. I cannot agree to delete Section 3.7.

EX. This provision may cause unnecessary difficulties especially in complex matters where the parties do not agree to extend the prescribed time period.

If you try to use –ing forms in these examples in a document written on Microsoft Word, you’ll find that “deleting” and “extending” are underlined in green. This is because Word’s grammar check knows about this exception.

“Agree” is not the only verb covered by this exception. Others are “consent”, “entitled” “inclined” and “prone”.

Here are some examples:

EX. The duchess has consented to open her London house to the public for two months every summer.

EX. The Company is entitled to request that the authority reassesses the circumstances of the case.

EX. I am inclined to agree with you.

EX. The Employee is prone to suffer from asthma attacks and cannot work in a dusty environment.

More on “agree to”
“agree to”的更多说明

However, there is a difference in meaning between “agree to + -ing” and “agree to + infinitive”. Let’s make a comparison:
但是“agree to + -ing” 和“agree to + 不定式”在意思上还是有区别的。让我们来比较一下这个例子:

I cannot agree to delete Section 3.7.
I cannot agree to deleting Section 3.7.

The first one means I am not going to delete Section 3.7 myself; whereas the second sentence means I don’t want Section 3.7 to be deleted by anybody.

If you find it difficult to see the difference in meaning, try replacing the -ing form with a noun phrase:

EX. I cannot agree to the deletion of Section 3.7. (Deletion by anyone)