Mein Vater ist zu alt zum Arbeiten.

English Translation

My father is too old to work.

Why is “Arbeiten” being used as a noun here? I would have expected “mein Vater ist zu alt zu arbeiten”.

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Maybe it helps if we translate it differently:
Mein Vater ist zu alt zum Arbeiten - My father is too old for work (or “the act of working”).

“zu arbeiten” does not really work here. I’m just a native, and not enough of a linguist to explain why. It just sounds off.

But what does work is this:
Mein Vater ist zu alt um zu arbeiten.

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