@mayuutann I would not say "I've finished to eat my breakfast"; that sounds like incorrect. "I've finished eating my breakfast" sounds correct. But it's strange because "I've started to eat my breakfast" sounds correct. I don't know why they're different. Maybe "started to" is special.
@mcscx @mayuutann But why isn't "I've finished to eat" acceptable? With "started," I think "started to eat" and "started eating" have nearly identical meanings; I don't know a case where I would specifically want to say one and not the other.
To make it even more complicated, with "wanted" I think "wanted to eat" is okay and "wanted eating" is incorrect. So maybe it just depends which verb you use. "Finished" needs "-ing," "wanted" needs "to," "started" can take either.
Usually I think -ing verb forms in English are a lot like 〜て in Japanese ("eating" --> 食べて whereas "to eat" --> 食べる) but I'm not sure that helps with this question.
@fl0wn @mcscx @mayuutann Yeah, but I think we mostly agree on "have" - the question I think is most interesting is between "started" and "eat" rather than between "have" and "started." Part of the problem seems to be that "started" here is *kinda sorta* like an auxilliary verb too, but not quite really.
And I still think a big part of the answer, maybe not all of it, is that "start" is special in that it can take an infinitive where some other verbs that operate on verbs (like "finish") can't.
"I will start to eat", "I will start eating" - both sound okay to me
"I will finish to eat" - NOPE, "I will finish eating" - okay
"I am starting to eat" - okay
"I am starting eating" - sounds awkward because of the ing/ing repetition but I'm not sure I'd say it's incorrect grammar
"I am finishing to eat" - NO
"I am finishing eating" - I might say this but prefer to rephrase entirely because of the ing/ing.
@fl0wn @mcscx @mayuutann If you say "Only one job left before lunch, I am finishing to eat" I think it means "I am finishing my job for the purposes of being allowed to eat"; totally different parse, where "to eat" is not the object of "finish."
I think (for Mayu) it may simply come down to different verbs take different types of arguments. Like 〜を食べる, 〜まで行く, 〜と思う and not 〜まで食べる just because 食べる goes with を and not まで.
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