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    #1

    a little confused

    "The first thing we usually did was put on the headsets to talk."

    What I am confused here is the verb form "put" . I learned it should take "to put" or "putting" when used as a complement in a sentence.

    So the above sentence should be like this:
    "The first thing we usually did was to put on the headsets to talk."
    or
    "The first thing we usually did was putting on the headsets to talk."

    I wonder I am wrong in grammar.

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    #2

    Re: a little confused

    Quote Originally Posted by sykim99 View Post
    "The first thing we usually did was put on the headsets to talk."

    What I am confused here is the verb form "put" . I learned it should take "to put" or "putting" when used as a complement in a sentence.

    So the above sentence should be like this:
    "The first thing we usually did was to put on the headsets to talk."
    or
    "The first thing we usually did was putting on the headsets to talk."

    I wonder I am wrong in grammar.
    Your words could be mine here. I share the same doubt.
    Yor example can be found in ESL texts, take a look for instance at:
    ????! - Daum ??
    it was also discussed at yahoo answers, see
    Grammar: Is this sentence gramatically correct? - Yahoo! Answers
    And I think it was originally printed in Scientific American.

    But I still do not know the answer, this very same construction can be found in song lyrics like:
    "All you did was get me through
    I owe every breath to you
    Heart and soul unparalyzed
    All you did was save my life"
    (Our Lady Peace)
    " All he did was tell me lies to try to woo me
    After all the talk I guess he won the prize
    He never meant to stay
    How could be do it to me" (Kim Karnes)

    However, the other construction, using "to", can also be found for example in
    "The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn't the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility." (John Lennon)

    And the 'ing' construction:
    "There was a little moment of silence then how
    well I remember it! The schoolmaster broke the silence by adding : "Well ye know, lad, I think the greatest thing that Jesus Christ did was showing to a wicked world the sanctity o' motherhood." " (The light in the clearing; a tale of the north country in the time of Silas Wright - Bacheller)

    So the doubt persists.

    Could someone please shed some light on this subject?

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    #3

    Re: a little confused

    Hi,

    I'm neither a native nor a teacher, but I guess the sentence
    "The first thing we usually did was put on the headsets to talk."
    sounds natural and grammatical.

    Best,
    Heyt

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    #4

    Re: a little confused

    I think so too: when verbs are enumerated or clustered, we often drop the "to" from the infinitive.

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    #5

    Re: a little confused

    Quote Originally Posted by heyt View Post
    I guess the sentence
    "The first thing we usually did was put on the headsets to talk."
    sounds natural and grammatical.
    Ok, to me it also sounds natural and grammatical. But, the points are:
    1) if it is grammatical (or if it is not), why?
    2) what about the other constructions (to put, putting), are they wrong?
    3) the other examples I mentioned, from the Bacheller and Lennon, are they wrong?

    Maybe this is related to the fact that "to be" is a linking verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I think so too: when verbs are enumerated or clustered, we often drop the "to" from the infinitive.
    4) Is this a general rule? Is there any reason? Is it mandatory or optional? Are there other different examples?

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