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I've always wondered how could I connect a preposition with a verb. Since prepositions require the nouns following them to be declined, I didn't know what change would verbs undergo, since the infinitive of a verb is not a declinable word.

But, the "то, чтобы..." clause may help?

For example:

"Instead of admitting his mistake, he rudely approached me."

Вместо того, чтобыдопустить егопризнать свою ошибку, он грубо отнёсся ко мне.

There's a price in being an autonomous power.

Есть цена в том, чтобы быть самостоятельной властью.

However, in the following sentence, "то, что..." seems more appropriate to me...

Я удивился тому, что девушка говорит на моём языке так бегло.

In these clauses, maybe чтобы implies an intention, or something which has not been done yet, while что implies something already done?

At least I cannot think of an example where I would need "тому, чтобы...". Maybe "я направляюсь к тому, чтобы быть рок-звездой"?

And if I want to tell "I don't want to do anything but to sleep"?

Не хочу ничего делать, кроме того, чтобы спать.
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    another example of к тому, чтобы... - Я приложил все усилия к тому, чтобы из тебя получился классный специалист – Баян Купи-ка Jun 21 '18 at 20:19
  • чтобы is followed by infinitives or verbs in the past tense, что is followed by verbs in all forms – Баян Купи-ка Jun 21 '18 at 20:41
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    i'm unsure though about the title, what do you mean by connecting verbs with prepositions? your examples rather showcase connection between main and subordinate clauses... что(бы) is not a preposition but a conjunction – Баян Купи-ка Jun 21 '18 at 20:47
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    What I mean is that, when a noun comes after a preposition, the noun is declined. For example, "water instead of coke": вода вместо кока-колы. But, what if after вместо I want to put a verb, rather than a noun? "Instead of admitting...". Then it turns to be "вместо того, чтобы признать". The construction "то, чтобы" seems to be the saviour for those who want to qualify a verb by a preposition. – swrutra Jun 21 '18 at 23:52
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    I want to put a verb, rather than a noun? "Instead of admitting..." - but "admitting" is NOT a verb. It is a gerund - a werewolf that might turn into both a noun or a verb when put out of Shroedinger box into the specific phrase and context. There are no gerunds in Russian, but we have verbs-derived nouns (отглагольные существительные). So, in that your example "Instead of admitting" - there is no verb, there is a quasi-noun there. And the same way a noun should be in the Russian translation as well: "...вместо признания своей ошибки..." – Arioch Jun 22 '18 at 10:33
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Since prepositions require the nouns following them to be declined, I didn't know what change would verbs undergo, since the infinitive of a verb is not a declinable word.

Nouns decline to the correct case, verbs just become inifinitive.

Вместо того, чтобы признать свою ошибку, он грубо отнёсся ко мне.

Correct.

There's a price in being an autonomous power.

Есть цена в том, чтобы быть самостоятельной властью.

"Цена в том" не говорят. Even if you say "есть цена у того", the whole sentence still would be, at least, odd. I am not sure how to say it correctly, with or without чтобы.

However, in the following sentence, "то, что..." seems more appropriate to me...

Я удивился тому, что девушка говорит на моём языке так бегло.

Correct. "Чтобы" would be wrong here.

In these clauses, maybe чтобы implies an intention, or something which has not been done yet, while что implies something already done?

Correct, or at least very close to the truth (there may be some odd exceptions, but I cannot figure out any).

At least I cannot think of an example where I would need "тому, чтобы...". Maybe "я направляюсь к тому, чтобы быть рок-звездой"?

Я иду к тому, чтобы стать рок-звездой. Otherwise, the sentence is correct.

Не хочу ничего делать, кроме того, чтобы спать.

It is better to use кроме как: не хочу ничего не делать, кроме как спать. But such кроме того, чтобы is used occasionally: http://context.reverso.net/перевод/русский-английский/кроме+того%2C+чтобы

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