Ability to

Discussion in 'English Only' started by yulisky111, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. yulisky111 Member

    Hi, I'm confused with the usage of "ability to". I read a sentence: "I witness her improvement in her ability to develop creative ideas and to think logically". I think the second to is redundant and can be left out. I'd like to know whether the original sentence was correct. Thanks in advance.
  2. The Newt

    The Newt Senior Member

    USA / EEUU
    English - US
    The "to" is entirely optional; personally I would omit it.
  3. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    The second 'to' is meaningful, because without it, the sense could be 'think logically as a result of, or as part of, the development of creative ideas'.

    However, as the sentence stands, creativity and logic are seen as separate processes and abilities. This makes the meaning precise instead of ambiguous.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  4. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    The sentence is grammatically correct both with and without the second "to".
    Especially in writing, the second "to" creates parallelism between the two abilities and helps the reader understand the structure of the sentence.
    When the two phrases linked by "and" are short, the second "to" is not so important; when they are long, it becomes more important to include it.

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