Learn English – “Talking to someone is nice.” or “It is nice to talk to someone.” but “It was nice, talking to you.” Why

formalitygeneral-vs-specificgerund-vs-infinitivespeechwriting

General statement:

a. Talking to someone is nice. (verb as subject in front position = gerund)

or

b. It is nice to talk to someone. (verb as subject after dummy subject 'it' = full infinitive)

Specific situation:

It was nice, talking to you? (Why? Is it a mix of a. and b.?)

Best Answer

Talking to someone is nice

and

It is nice to talk to someone

Have the same meaning. They merely reflect the use of the infinitive (a Teutonic structure) versus the use of the gerunditive (a feature from French).

In both cases, they express as a generality that it is pleasant to engage in conversation.


The sentence:

It was nice talking to you.

This sentence is a way of thanking someone for having conversed with you.

You can equally say

It was nice to talk to you.

These sentences are in the past tense and express (ostensibly) a judgment about a previously held conversation. Conversely, the other sentences being in the present tense express more generally that conversation is nice.