all you have to do is get ....

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cfu507

Senior Member
Hebrew
All you have to do is get through security

This sentence is from a TV show I watched and I was wandering, shouldn't the speaker have said "All you have to do is to get through security"?

Thanks
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    All you have to do is get through security

    This sentence is from a TV show I watched and I was wandering, shouldn't the speaker have said "All you have to do is to get through security"?

    Thanks
    Either one is acceptable. In fact, I think that the sentence without "to" would be more commonly heard (at least in North America).
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Is this the case only when the verb is get? always after to do...?
    No, it's not just after "get" ie:

    "To keep informed, all you have to do is watch T.V."
    "To learn to drive, all you have to do is take driving lessons"

    I, personally, would use "to" but this manner of speech is very common in North America and I suspect that it would most certainly be considered correct by a vast majority of people.
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    It sounds fine to me either with or without the second "to." So I would infer that the second "to" is optional and can be dropped without changing the meaning.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    There are several previous threads, cfu:)

    Here's my take on it.

    Because "do" takes the bare infinitive (I do go, you don't go) then in all you have to do is X, X is the bare infinitive.

    But if we change the sentence to all you want is X (X being a verb, not a noun), X will be the "to infinitive" because "want" takes the "to infinitive".

    All you have to do is get through security
    All you want is to get through security.
     

    cfu507

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    I remember now the song "all you have to do is have some fun" (no to before have) and it's probably the same idea.
    Thanks everyone!
     
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