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  1. gwendolinest
    Guest
    #11

    Re: grammatically correct random quote?

    Quote Originally Posted by ExK
    I saw the following random quote:

    "I feel that if a person has problems communicating the very least he can do is to shut up"
    Tom Lehrer


    is it valid to say "the very least he can do is shut up" (note the absense of 'to') ?
    I wouldn’t use “to” there. I’d just say “the very least he can do is shut up”.

    BTW, the correct spelling of the word I underlined in the quote above is absence.

    ()

  2. ExK
    Guest
    #12
    thank you teachers! I still have some taxing questions, but I'll ask when I've returned from overseas!

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Academic
    • Member Info
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      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,583
    #13

    Re: grammatically correct random quote?

    Quote Originally Posted by ExK
    I saw the following random quote:

    "I feel that if a person has problems communicating the very least he can do is to shut up"
    Tom Lehrer


    is it valid to say "the very least he can do is shut up" (note the absense of 'to') ?
    Both versions would be acceptable, but I would use the "to". "To shut up" is a predicate nominative. If the sentence were reversed "To shut up is the very least he can do" the "to" would be required.

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