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Thread: when to omit TO

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    • Join Date: Nov 2005
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    #1

    Angry when to omit TO

    I am not sure when to omit TO, for example,
    You can watch TV whenever you want to or
    You can watch TV whenever you want
    which one is right?
    another example,
    Regarldess of whether or not you want, you should attend family occasons or
    Regardless of wheter or not you want it, you should attend family occasions
    Regardles of wheter or not you want to, you should attend family occasions
    which one is right? or why?

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #2

    Re: when to omit TO

    Both are used. Note, words in brackets (...) are optional.

    [1] You can watch TV whenever you want to (watch TV).
    [2] You can watch TV whenever you want (to watch TV).

    Choice stems from a prescriptivist rule that tells us never to end a sentence with a preposition. Mind you, "to" of "want to" isn't a preposition. It's a infintive marker, but it's homophonous with (sounds the same as) the preposition "to".

    What about?

    [3] Regardless of whether you want to (attend) or not (want to attend), you should (attend).

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