anything except

navi

Banned
armenian
Which is correct:

1-You can't do anything except wait.
2-You can't do anything except to wait.
3-You can't do anything except waiting.
 
  • JLanguage

    Senior Member
    USA: American English, Learning Hebrew and Spanish
    navi said:
    Which is correct:

    1-You can't do anything except wait. :tick:
    2-You can't do anything except to wait.:cross:
    3-You can't do anything except waiting. :cross:
    While number one is correct, the best to express this in my opinion is:

    There's nothing to do but wait.
    There's nothing you can do but wait.
    There's nothing we can do but wait.
     

    Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Isotta said:
    Now wait a minute--why is #2 wrong?


    Z.
    Because you can't use 'to' after modals like 'can'. (You can't do anything, but you can to wait.) But I think you could say 'I don't want to do anything except to wait', although even here I'd drop the 'to'.
     

    JLanguage

    Senior Member
    USA: American English, Learning Hebrew and Spanish
    Aupick said:
    Because you can't use 'to' after modals like 'can'. (You can't do anything, but you can to wait.) But I think you could say 'I don't want to do anything except to wait', although even here I'd drop the 'to'.
    'I don't want to do anything except to wait' doesn't sound right
    I don't want to anything but wait sounds okay, bur still kind of awkward
     

    Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    JLanguage said:
    'I don't want to do anything except to wait' doesn't sound right
    Yeah, you're right. I think I was suffering from interference from 'What you need to do is (to) wait' type sentences.

    Incidentally, I would also vote for number 1.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Same here. It's common practice to drop the to of the infinitive after except or but.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top