accomplish nothing except to give

  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    I can think of no good argument for using "to" in that particular statement. Perhaps other members will have something to add here, Shirley Ling. I'm never surprised and often delighted to learn that others think differently about some topic than I do. I wouldn't bother with "to" in that remark if I were making it.


    Senior Member
    American English
    I think I've heard the "to" version so often that I would tend to use it ... but looking at Google, "accomplish nothing except to give" and "accomplish nothing except give" are about equally represented. So take your pick.


    Senior Member
    So, the original example is not standard English, except in parts of US?
    I'm sorry you've gotten that idea from the replies, Shirley Ling. I sure wasn't making any remark about standard English as it's spoken in the U.S. or anywhere else. I just don't think "to" is necessary. Some people might like it because it helps separate the words "except" and "give". Using "to" in that statement isn't incorrect as far as I can tell. :)

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I would probably use 'to give' because this is a hypothetical sentence with 'would'. I know I tend to use a 'to + infinitive' when others use a bare infinitive (or some other construction) when the reference is to the future, directly or indirectly and if there is an option. I can't explain any more than that, but this 'to+ infinitive' did not strike me as unusual, nor does the bare infinitive sound wrong to me.



    Senior Member
    English - US
    I don't like "give" in the sentence at all. To me, it could be either "to give" or "giving" but not "give".