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  1. nininaz's Avatar
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    #1

    Question "Jim likes to swim, cycle, and play soccer."

    What are the differences between these two sentences?

    "Jim likes to swim, to cycle, and to play soccer."
    "Jim likes to swim, cycle, and play soccer."

  2. VIP Member
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    #2

    Re: "Jim likes to swim, cycle, and play soccer."

    The second sentence takes advantage of English parallelism to save two prepositions. They mean the same thing.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "Jim likes to swim, cycle, and play soccer."

    It's clear that swimming, cycling, and playing soccer are separate activities.
    In some cases, however, there won't be any obvious separation, and, in such
    cases, the addition of "to" creates, in my opinion, a sense of separation. Contrast:

    Jim likes to hop, skip, and jump.
    Jim likes to hop, to skip, and to jump.

  4. nininaz's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "Jim likes to swim, cycle, and play soccer."

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    It's clear that swimming, cycling, and playing soccer are separate activities.
    In some cases, however, there won't be any obvious separation, and, in such
    cases, the addition of "to" creates, in my opinion, a sense of separation. Contrast:

    Jim likes to hop, skip, and jump.
    Jim likes to hop, to skip, and to jump.
    I think that in the second sentence, when we remove the preposition 'of' , all the activities refer to 'soccer' . For example, swim soccer, cycle soccer, and play soccer.However, I am not sure about my assumption.


  5. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "Jim likes to swim, cycle, and play soccer."

    It does not mean that.

    It is possible to force that interpretation on the words. However, as the result is meaningless, no native speaker would do that.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 04-Feb-2017 at 08:44.

  6. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "Jim likes to swim, cycle, and play soccer."

    It does not mean that.

    It is possible to force that interpretation on the words. However, as the result is meaningless, no native speaker would do that.
    I agree. Nevertheless, we can imagine cases in which Nininaz's interesting thought might be seen to apply:

    (1) Jim likes to sing, play, and write songs.
    (2) Jim likes to sing, to play, and to write songs.

    Consider the possible readings:

    (a) Jim likes to sing songs, to play songs, and to write songs.
    (b) Jim likes to write songs, to play, and to sing.

    While (1) and (2) are both arguably ambiguous, being susceptible to both readings, I think (1) clearly leans toward (a), and (2) toward (b).

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