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Thread: The infinitive

  1. #1
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    Default The infinitive

    The breakout sessions gave employees a chance to express ideas and learn of opporunities within the Center.

    Is an infinitive "to" needed in front of "learn of?"

    Thanks.

    BMO

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    No; it's optional.

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    Thanks. I always wonder about that. BMO

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    Default Re: The infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by bmo
    The breakout sessions gave employees a chance to express ideas and learn of opporunities within the Center.

    Is an infinitive "to" needed in front of "learn of?"

    Thanks.

    BMO
    Exactly what tdol nicely provided, plus this:

    'a chance to X' (OK)
    a chance to [express and learn]
    ([...] = one phrase)

    'a chance to X' and 'a time to X' (OK)
    [a chance to express] and [time to learn]
    ([...] = two separate phrases)

    'a chance to X and to Y' (OK)
    a chance [[to express] and [to learn]]
    ([...] = two separate phrases within one phrase)
    This kind of structure is symmetrical.

    All the best,


    All the best,

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    Default Re: The infinitive

    Thanks.


    A chance to express and learn ideas. (OK? One object)
    A chance to express ideas and learn of opportunities. (OK? Two objects.)
    A chance to express ideas and to learn of opportunities (OK? Two objects.)

    BMO

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    Default Re: The infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by bmo
    Thanks.


    A chance to express and learn ideas. (OK? One object)
    A chance to express ideas and learn of opportunities. (OK? Two objects.)
    A chance to express ideas and to learn of opportunities (OK? Two objects.)

    BMO
    The first one does not work. We learn about ideas; we don't learn ideas. Possibly, you could say:
    • a chance to learn about ideas and to learn how to talk about those ideas

    The other two are fine. As Tdol noted, the to is optional there. The two phrases really mean the same thing.

    :)

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