"Admit doing something" is ambiguous, and one of its meanings is "admit to doing something" (confess something). "Admit doing something" can also mean "allow something":
We admitted to writing between the lines.
[We admitted that we had written between the lines.]
We admitted writing between the lines.
[Same, or "We permitted people to write between the lines."]
It would be better, although the intended meaning is clear. The example is from a news item, so do not expect any word that could be dropped out to be kept.would "...admitted to breaking..." be better?
If you interpret them that way you would be making a distinction that does not exist in these phrases. They mean exactly the same as each other.To me 'admit breaking...' sounds like the violation was their past practice while
'admit to breaking...' sounds indicating it was a particular incident in the past.
But I am not quite sure.
Andygc, thank you for your advice.
admit breaking :
I think this can mean the company repeatedly violated one to several rules in an instance for years.
In my own usage I would, I think, usually use "admit to". Many people drop the to, and I really don't see any difference between he admitted knowing her and he admitted being guilty that would justify saying that one could be used without to and the other must have it - and you could write he admitted his guilt, which is a structure that I would certainly use.The M-W Learner's Dictionary says:to can be left out, but can't to be omitted? If it can't be, could you tell me why not?
- He reluctantly admitted to knowing her. [=he admitted knowing her]
- He admitted to his guilt. = He admitted to being guilty.
But that is a different context from the OP which was specifically the use of a participle after the "admit", not a nounI see a difference. What a person admits to is something the person has done, or a thought or feeling the person has:
He admitted his guilt. [He admitted that he was guilty. He admitted to being responsible for whatever it was.]
He admitted to his guilt. [He confessed that he felt/had some guilt.]
It depends on the context, on whether, in particular, we are talking about a specific time that something happened, prior to which the writing happened.Hi
We admitted to having written between the lines.
Do the bold sentence and the one by me mean the same?
It depends on the context, on whether, in particular, we are talking about a specific time that something happened, prior to which the writing happened.
They are equally correct.
I admit to hitting him
I admit hitting him no difference in meaning (although it could, perhaps, mean that you permit him to be hit)