All you have to do is <studying, study, to study> hard.

Qomi

Senior Member
Turkland/Turkish
All you have to do is ....... hard.

a)studying
b)study
c)to study


Are all the choices true? What do you think?
 
  • kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I like B the best. I think A is incorrect. I think C might also be incorrect but I am not 100% sure.
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hello,

    Although I am not a native speaker, I would opt for answer B; however, do have a look at the following threads: thread 1, thread 2, thread 3.

    Hope that helps!

    PS On second thoughts, the to seems to be optional, I think.

    "All we can do is (to) write to him." (A Practical English Grammar, A.J. Thomson and A.V. Martinet)
     
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    xebonyx

    Senior Member
    TR/AR/EN
    B is the best answer. A is incorrect, and C isn't necessarily incorrect, but it sounds overloaded to native ears.

    Basically my answer will mirror what Nemuria said in thread 2. When you add "to" the second time, it looks like the infinitive is being overused. As I said before, it wouldn't be incorrect, but definitely not nearly as common as leaving it out.
     

    johndot

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Well, I’ve disagreed with Messrs Thomson & Martinet before, and unabashed I unhesitatingly rush to do so again!

    1. As this question is one which the setter believes has a single answer, that answer must be B.
    2. This type of construction calls for the bare infinitive—you cannot say, after all, “All we can do is to wait.”
    3. I think the thread title should be changed to reflect its contents (for the benefit of future researchers).
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    a) is definitely incorrect. I believe that both b) and c) are correct but the most common usage would be b).

    Frankly, I would use c) because I have a "thing" about omitting those little words.:) As a matter of fact, I would also insert "that" ie:

    "All that you have to do is to study hard."
     

    Skin

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Well, I’ve disagreed with Messrs Thomson & Martinet before, and unabashed I unhesitatingly rush to do so again!

    1. As this question is one which the setter believes has a single answer, that answer must be B.
    2. This type of construction calls for the bare infinitive—you cannot say, after all, “All we can do is to wait.”
    3. I think the thread title should be changed to reflect its contents (for the benefit of future researchers).

    [/size][/font]

    Why?

    Maybe because the modal can is used here, and can calls for the bare infinitive: all you can do is wait= you can only wait.
    But the original sentence is different:
    "All you have TO do is .. hard"
    Since you have TO do something, then perhaps you should use TO- infinitive in the second part of the sentence as well. "You have TO study hard". "All you have TO do is TO study hard"
    A matter of symmetry, the way I see it. Is this issue relevant at all?
    Thank you
     

    langzot

    Member
    English - Midwest USA
    Because the verb "do" is used, the second "to" must be removed. "You have to study hard" is correct, but when one adds the verb "do", grammar doesn't permit a "to" to follow. "Study hard" is treated as the object of "do" here.
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Maybe because the modal can is used here, and can calls for the bare infinitive: all you can do is wait= you can only wait.
    But the original sentence is different:
    "All you have TO do is .. hard"
    Since you have TO do something, then perhaps you should use TO- infinitive in the second part of the sentence as well. "You have TO study hard". "All you have TO do is TO study hard"
    A matter of symmetry, the way I see it. Is this issue relevant at all?
    Thank you

    Well, I found the example under the following title: The bare infinitive after verbs and expressions, not the use of the verb can.
    The same source provides this kind of example: "The only thing to do/we can do is (to) write to him."

    PS Lanzgot: The verb do takes the bare infinitive if verbs such as but or except are used with words like anything,, nothing, everything.
     
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    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Maybe because the modal can is used here, and can calls for the bare infinitive: all you can do is wait= you can only wait.
    But the original sentence is different:
    "All you have TO do is .. hard"
    Since you have TO do something, then perhaps you should use TO- infinitive in the second part of the sentence as well. "You have TO study hard". "All you have TO do is TO study hard"
    A matter of symmetry, the way I see it. Is this issue relevant at all?
    Thank you

    I agree that the use of "can" makes a difference.

    But then the (correct) infinitive of the verb in the original is "TO have to do something" - to do is not the infinitive in this phrasal verb. So, all you have to do is....does not require an infinitive to complete the sentence, because the first part of the sentence is, like the "can" example, not in fact using an infinitive (or, at best, is using the bare infinitive).

    B is the correct answer.
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Well, I found the example under the following title: The bare infinitive after verbs and expressions, not the use of the verb can.
    The same source provides this kind of example: "The only thing to do/we can do is (to) write to him."

    This latter example highlights the difference perfectly - to do...to write match up perfectly; have to do/must do/can do/need to do...study all match perfectly.
     

    langzot

    Member
    English - Midwest USA
    I can't help it, but instinct is also telling me that "All you have to do is TO study hard" is grammatically incorrect. Maybe it's accepted usage in other countries, but as an American, I can say that this sounds very odd. It doesn't come out naturally like this.
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    This latter example highlights the difference perfectly - to do...to write match up perfectly; have to do/must do/can do/need to do...study all match perfectly.

    It is so late that I might be wrong, but, to me, the sentence proves that the word to is optional.
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    If so, I've managed not to be clear :D

    For example: it's not (want) to do, it's want to (do) - and therefore it's "study".

    I bet that's not any clearer....oh dear :eek:

    I have just run out of ...., I am afraid. :mad: I need to turn in....:eek:

    I hope I will be capable of graping the idea you are trying to convey tomorrow morning, El escoces!:D
     
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    johndot

    Senior Member
    English - England
    According to the BBC:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv226.shtml
    after ‘must’ and many other modals, the bare infinitive only is used. Thus in the example, even though ‘must’ has been changed to ‘have to’, the effect is the same: all you must do is study = all you have to do is study.
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    According to the BBC:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv226.shtml
    after ‘must’ and many other modals, the bare infinitive only is used. Thus in the example, even though ‘must’ has been changed to ‘have to’, the effect is the same: all you must do is study = all you have to do is study.

    Much as I agree with the use of the bare infinitive after modal verbs, the sentence in question appears to be a different kettle of fish. I think the key word is all, not the verb(s).

    Would it be possible to claim that both answers are perfectly acceptable?

    (If the source I quoted says so, there must be some reasons to put forward such a suggestion.)
     
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    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    For me, the bare infinitive is callled for, not because of the semi-modal in the sentence, but because of the "do".

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

    If the sentence were all you want is X (X being a verb, not a noun), X would be the "to infinitive" because "want" takes the "to infinitive".

    All you do is study.
    All you have to do is study.

    All he wants is to go out drinking with his friends.
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    For me, the bare infinitive is callled for, not because of the semi-modal in the sentence, but because of the "do".

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

    If the sentence were all you want is X (X being a verb, not a noun), X would be the "to infinitive" because "want" takes the "to infinitive".

    All you do is study.
    All you have to do is study.


    All he wants is to go out drinking with his friends.

    It does make sense, Auntie, but I have read somewhere or other that there is a kind of pattern: What + subject + do + be + infinitive with or without to. I cannot find the bloody source. :mad:
     

    johndot

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Much as I agree with the use of the bare infinitive after modal verbs, the sentence in question appears to be a different kettle of fish. I think the key word is all, not the verb(s).

    Would it be possible to claim that both answers are perfectly acceptable?

    (If the source I quoted says so, there must be some reasons to put forward such a suggestion.)

    I really can’t see that all makes any difference, audiolaik.

    All you have to do is study.
    What you have to do is study.
    You have to do what you’re told—study.

    And that last one might be the solution: it’s not too great a leap of the imagination to consider the bare infinitive in other examples to be, in fact, the imperative—which is why there would be no infinitive marker.

    (But, when all’s said and done, I’m far less bothered by this grammatical superfluity (in my opinion) than others.)
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I really can’t see that all makes any difference, audiolaik.

    All you have to do is study.
    What you have to do is study.
    You have to do what you’re told—study.

    And that last one might be the solution: it’s not too great a leap of the imagination to consider the bare infinitive in other examples to be, in fact, the imperative—which is why there would be no infinitive marker.

    (But, when all’s said and done, I’m far less bothered by this grammatical superfluity (in my opinion) than others.)

    What I was trying to say was that it goes without saying that modal verbs are followed by the bare infinitive. I meant that it is the structure itself (to begin the sentence with the word all) that allowes both possibilities, namely with and without to.

    (I think it goes over my head....:eek:)
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    For me, the bare infinitive is callled for, not because of the semi-modal in the sentence, but because of the "do".

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

    If the sentence were all you want is X (X being a verb, not a noun), X would be the "to infinitive" because "want" takes the "to infinitive".

    All you do is study.
    All you have to do is study.

    All he wants is to go out drinking with his friends.

    I do not know if it is of any importance, but I have just found the following sentence in a coursebook*:

    What scientists do is to observe and measure the world around them, and attempt to....

    *CAE Gold Plus, published by Longman
     

    johndot

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I do not know if it is of any importance, but I have just found the following sentence in a coursebook*:

    What scientists do is to observe and measure the world around them, and attempt to....

    *CAE Gold Plus, published by Longman

    Well, course book or not, I think this is totally wrong and I am saddened. To correct it simply I would write:

    What scientists do is observe and measure the world around them, and attempt to....

    and if I wanted to be fussy (who, me?) I would say:

    What scientists do is, they observe and measure the world around them, and (they) attempt to....
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Well, course book or not, I think this is totally wrong and I am saddened. To correct it simply I would write:

    What scientists do is observe and measure the world around them, and attempt to....

    and if I wanted to be fussy (who, me?) I would say:

    What scientists do is, they observe and measure the world around them, and (they) attempt to....

    I hate the thought of opening a can of worms, but here goes...

    I agree entirely that the quote from the Longman book is "wrong" in my opinion (I can't see how it can be right).

    But I would also take issue with your suggested "improvement" on the simple correction, johndot: to me, "What scientists do is, they..." is awkward and unattractive. I don't think "they" is necessary - "observe and measure" elaborates on the "what" of the introductory phrase, and since the pronoun would only be introduced to replace a missing subject (which is not the case here), it is superfluous.

    Consider, for example "All the new regulations do is impose additional red tape": I don't think I would ever say "All the new regulations do is, they impose..."

    It's late and I fear I haven't explained myself particularly clearly, but I hope it makes enough sense for someone else to agree - or to tell me I'm bonkers...
     

    KHS

    Senior Member
    I have no problem with either

    All you have to do is study hard.
    or
    All you have to do is to study hard.

    I searched the Corpus of Contemporary AmE for [do is to] and got 1753 instances.

    Some examples to show these follow the pattern we're discussing:

    What we need to do is to join hands with them
    what members of Congress ought to do is to encourage our Justice Dept
    what he was able to do is to charge the government
    I think what we have to do is to make an honest effort
    What we ought to do is to explain the devastation
    the first thing he has to do is to consolidate a power base
    what he can do is to influence public opinion
    What we're going to do is to try to act
     

    KHS

    Senior Member
    Just in case people might think my [do is to] examples from COCA are evidence of a BE AmE difference, the 100 million word subcorpus of the BNC (versus the 380 million word COCA) yielded 682 instances.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi again, audio. You may well be right that the "to" version is optional. It still feels strange to me. In other words, I would much prefer "What scientists do is observe and measure the world" over "What scientists do is to observe and measure the world".

    I haven't checked the corpora. But it would not surprise me if they include examples of what seems to me to be incorrect usage; I would put these down to hyper-correction.

    I may well be wrong:(
     
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    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I would also suspect some possible degree of hyper-correction. Clearly if you ask "What do scientists do?" the answer is "They observe and measure the world". This example makes me think the "to" in "to observe" is at best superfluous and at worst incorrect. If you ask "What do scientists like to do?" the answer could be "They like to observe and measure." but there the "to observe" is related to the "like" not to the "do."
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I also agree that hyper-correction seems a possibility.

    "What we're going to do is to try to act.." just sounds wrong to me. But as long as we're not saying that inclusion of the "to" is compulsory, I'm happy to say l"ive and let live".
     
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