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    #1

    why to V

    1. *I can't understand why to do it. (Practical English Usage)

    2. I am wondering why to go at all. (A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language)

    According to Practical English Usage, #1 is not acceptable. Why is #2 acceptable?
    I need native speakers' help.

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: why to V

    I am not a teacher.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: why to V

    That was nine years ago though. Maybe he's forgotten.

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    #4

    Re: why to V

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I carefully read through the thread and still couldn't get a clear idea, so I copied and pasted the question on this forum.
    My question is: do native speakers think that #2 is acceptable?
    Alan doesn't think so. https://www.englishclub.com/esl-foru...=337315#337315
    I hope to get more native speakers' responses.
    Last edited by sitifan; 31-Aug-2016 at 00:50.
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #5

    Re: why to V

    No, I don't find it natural at all. Who's the author of 2? (Many of us remember a book by the author, since there are numerous books called "English Grammar" or similar.)
    Last edited by Raymott; 31-Aug-2016 at 06:00. Reason: typo

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: why to V

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, I don't find it natural at all.
    Is it understandable, or do you agree with the following?
    '"Why to like her" is not a proper sentence. If you say that to an American, they won't understand what you mean.'── quoted from http://www.english.com.tw/modules/ne...forumpost38407
    I am not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: why to V

    'Randolph Quirk . A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language'
    An Infinitive wh-clasue can be formed with all wh-words, though instances with "why" are rare:
    "I'm wondering why to go at all."
    http://tip.daum.net/question/70156222
    I need native speakers' help.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: why to V

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    Is it understandable, or do you agree with the following?
    '"Why to like her" is not a proper sentence. If you say that to an American, they won't understand what you mean.'
    "Why to like her" has no finite verb. It's not a sentence.
    However, if it is said in the right context, an American would be perverse to say that they don't understand it. They'd also understand,"Why you not like her?"; "Why no you like her", etc. But simply being able to understand something doesn't make it correct.
    If not said in the right context, the meaning might not be immediately apparent.
    Last edited by Raymott; 31-Aug-2016 at 14:32.

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    #9

    Re: why to V

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    'Randolph Quirk . A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language'
    An Infinitive wh-clasue can be formed with all wh-words, though instances with "why" are rare:
    "I'm wondering why to go at all."
    http://tip.daum.net/question/70156222
    If Quirk says it's grammatical, it probably is. If he says it's rare, he means (to me), "Don't use it unless you really have to, or unless you are one of the minority who speaks the dialect that uses it." It sounds strange to me. I'd say, "I'm wondering why I should go at all".

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