forward to something = anticipate something with interest
Look forward to is one of the many phrasal verbs
in English in which an adverbial particle (forward) as well
as a preposition (to) is combined with the stem verb to signify
a particular meaning. What we are looking forward to can
be exemplified as either as a noun phrase or as a verb-phrase with
an -ing pattern
- Jill says she's not looking forward to Jack's party next
- I very much look forward to meeting you soon.
- They're looking forward to joining their children in Australia
There are many such three-part verbs, e.g.:
look back on = think back to
put up with = tolerate
come down with = fall ill with
There are a number of instances where such verbs end with the preposition
face up to = confront
get round to = do something after some delay
get down to = concentrate on
Note that in such instances to is not part of any infinitive
phrase. It is an integral part of the verb. And whatever it is that
we face up to or get round to is normally expressed
as either a noun phrase or as a verb phrase with an -ing
- I must get round to cleaning my car next weekend.
- And I must get down to reading Jack's article which
he sent me two weeks ago
- I must face up to the fact that I'm never going to be
promoted in this organisation.
Note that when verbs follow prepositions (any prepositions)
the V-ing form is normally used, not the to-infinitive pattern:
- I managed to finish reading Jack's article by staying
up till midnight.
- He's talking about getting it published in National
- Instead of going on holiday last summer, he undertook
this arduous trip up the Amazon.