Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    wotcha's Avatar
    wotcha is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    735
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default The omission of 'to' in to-infitive.

    We teach Korean students that there are three cases of omitting to in to-infinitives such as;

    1. All I did was to study English.

    2. What I did was to wait for her.

    3. The only thins I did was to eat and sleep all day.


    My first question is "Is 'to' omitted in present sentences?" like;

    4. All I do is study English.

    5. What I do is wait for her.

    6. The only thins I do is eat and sleep all day.


    Secondly, is 'to' omitted in cases of 'no-did-sentence'? I mean;

    7. All I want is see you.

    8. What I need is make money.

    9. The only thing I miss about NZ is hang around with my friends.


    Are 7,8 and 9 grammatical, too?
    Last edited by wotcha; 10-Nov-2012 at 12:50.

  2. #2
    nelson13 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Zhuang
      • Home Country:
      • Bangladesh
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    196
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The omission of 'to' in to-infitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by wotcha View Post
    We teach Korean students that there are three cases of omitting to in to-infinitives such as;

    1. All I did was to study English.

    2. What I did was to wait for her.

    3. The only thins I did was to eat and sleep all day.


    My first question is "Is 'to' omitted in present sentences like;

    4. All I do is study English.

    5. What I do is wait for her.

    6. The only thins I do is eat and sleep all day.


    Secondly, is 'to' omitted in cases of 'no-did-sentence'? I mean;

    7. All I want is see you.

    8. What I need is make money.

    9. The only thing I miss about NZ is hang around with my friends.


    Are 7,8 and 9 grammatical, too?
    You will not expect a non-native speaker to answer your question. But I still want to try. Anyone is welcome to comment on my answer.

    In reply to your question, the answer is NO. Not grammatical.

    If you view sentences 1-6, you will find they are all DO-sentences or sentences containing an inflection of DO;and DO in this case has a special usage that can leave out TO. But no other verbs.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,590
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The omission of 'to' in to-infitive.

    I would use to in 7 & 8 and the gerund in 9.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The omission of 'to' in to-infitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I would use to in 7 & 8 and the gerund in 9.
    So would I.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,769
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The omission of 'to' in to-infitive.

    With #3 and #6 you need to use "things" and "are/were". I would also change the word order:

    3. The only things I did all day were eat and sleep.
    6. The only things I do all day are eat and sleep.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] The difference between 'have to' and 'have got to' in terms of use...
    By Weaver67 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 27-Jun-2012, 07:29
  2. what's the difference between 'switch to' and 'switch over to'?
    By hamdog in forum English Phrasal Verbs
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 14-Jun-2011, 21:58
  3. [Grammar] Question about omission (I don't know if it's even called omission)
    By HaraKiriBlade in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 29-Oct-2009, 12:56
  4. 'Due to' and 'owing to'
    By geoffsx in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-Feb-2007, 07:43
  5. gerund or infitive
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Nov-2006, 01:27

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •