Are they correct?

Status
Not open for further replies.

vvaann

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
My friend wrote these sentences:
1. All we can do is promise that it will be kept secret
2. All ministers have to do is wait
3. All you have to do is answer the following question

What I am wondering is whether they're grammatically correct!
Are they different from these:

1. All we can do is to promise that it will be kept secret
2. All ministers have to do is to wait
3. All you have to do is to answer the following question
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
vvaann said:
My friend wrote these sentences:
1. All we can do is promise that it will be kept secret
2. All ministers have to do is wait
3. All you have to do is answer the following question

What I am wondering is whether they're grammatically correct!

Yes, they are all grammatically correct.

vvaann said:
Are they different from these:

1. All we can do is to promise that it will be kept secret
2. All ministers have to do is to wait
3. All you have to do is to answer the following question

I don't see any difference in meaning in the different forms. (Perhaps Somebody else will have a different opinion.)

Regards,
RonBee

8)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
They are all grammatically correct.


Do you think the sentences without "to" are more likely to be used?


It's hard to say why we would use one form of the sentences and not the other.


mm...Maybe the ones with "to" sound more serious?
 

vvaann

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Let's take this sentence as an example.
"All we can do is promise that it will be kept secret"
"is" and "promise" are two verbs, and I often thought they should not be placed so. Now, I realize it was an oblique perception!
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
In BE,at least, you will sometimes hear people put 'to' before the second verb in that sentence. :eek:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I imagine it happens in AE as well, though perhaps not as frequently. I'm not sure. In any event, using the optional "to" in those sentences somehow sounds a bit more serious in manner or I might even say it displays some slight extra degree of intentness.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Quite possibly here, too. :lol:
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top