All I did was < to visit / visiting> a bunch of children

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Mike2947

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi
Are both grammatically correct?
1)All I did was to visit a bunch of children
2)All I did was visiting a bunch of children
regards
 
  • Mike2947

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    (1) is correct. (2) is incorrect, but would be correct in reverse:

    Visiting a bunch of children was all I did.
    Are you sure that 2 is incorrect? I thought it was correct!

    And again you would say the second sentence is in correct as well?
    One thing I could do was to visit a bunch of children
    One thing I could do was visiting a bunch of children
     

    ribran

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Hi, Mike.

    All I did was to visit a bunch of children. Probably correct, but I wouldn't say it.
    All I did was visit a bunch of children. :tick:
    All I did was visiting a bunch of children. :cross:
    All I was doing was visiting a bunch of children. :tick:

    One thing I could do was to visit a bunch of children. Not how I would say it.
    One thing I could do was visit a bunch of children. :tick:
    One thing I could do was visiting a bunch of children. :cross:
     
    Last edited:

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    ribrans markings look good to me, except I wouldn't say the ones with 'to': "All I did was to ...."

    There is some difference in opinion as to whether or not 'to' may be included. Some say 'yes'; others say that it's not grammatical.
    See the discussion here: All I did was (to) wash
     

    Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    I think that the presence of "to" is more likely in some contexts.

    I would say:
    I didn't do much today. All I did was visit a bunch of children.

    But, if my action filled the entire time available:
    I didn't have time for any of the things I wanted to do. All I did was to visit a bunch of children.

    or, if defending myself:
    I didn't realize I was breaching parole. All I did was to visit a bunch of children.

    I thought that there might be BrE/AmE split as well. But Obama sometimes inserts "to":

    http://articles.latimes.com/2009/feb/20/world/fg-obama-canada20
    All I did was to compliment Canada on the troops that are there

    My other two examples are BrE:

    Prince Charles (spending all time available)
    http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/spe...ales_at_the_launch_of_the_pri_1680785853.html
    all I did was to plead for a little more balance ...

    Clare Short (justifying action)
    http://www.clareshort.co.uk/node/12
    all I did was to voice in the House of Commons ...
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Are both grammatically correct?
    1) All I did was to visit a bunch of children.
    2) All I did was visiting a bunch of children.
    In my opinion, neither is correct, at least in US English. As an editor, I would reject the second and would correct the first by removing the word "to".
     
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