Basically what they do is.......followed by to or by a verb?

skydown13

Senior Member
Mandarin
A. Basically what they do is giving you a free gift.
B. Basically what they do is to give you a free gift.
C. Basically what they do is give you a free gift.
Which one of this is correct.

I tried google all three and C is most popular....why?
 
  • skydown13

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    But, why is A wrong?
    and why is C correct? Is and give are both verbs. Verbs together are usually with 'to' in between.
    I am to write a letter.
    I am write a letter. This doesn't sound right.

    Basically what they do is that they give you a free gift. Is this the complete sentence of "Basically what they do is give you a free gift."?
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    The verb tenses need to match.

    Basically what they are doing is giving you a free gift.

    Basically what they do is [to] give you a free gift.
     

    skydown13

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    I see, thanks.
    But is this one, Basically what they do is that they give you a free gift." acceptable?
     

    bennymix

    Senior Member
    'I am to write a letter' is correct, but this is not a typical verb verb example. "be" plus "to" means obligation.
    a) 'I am going to write a letter' or b) 'I went to write a letter' are correct.
    Sky is generally correct about matching--see the sentence b) above.

    But a*) 'I am going to writing a letter' is wrong. a*OK) 'I am going to be writing a letter' is correct.


    But, why is A wrong?
    and why is C correct? Is and give are both verbs. Verbs together are usually with 'to' in between.
    I am to write a letter.
    I am write a letter. This doesn't sound right.

    Basically what they do is that they give you a free gift. Is this the complete sentence of "Basically what they do is give you a free gift."?
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    A does not work.

    B is not wrong but ambiguous because to might mean "in order to".

    C works because of a special property of the verb do. It does not work with any other verb:

    Basically, the action they take is give you a free gift.:cross:
    I see, thanks.
    But is this one, "Basically what they do is that they give you a free gift." acceptable?
    This works for me, but version B hangs together better.

    Some more examples of this special property of do:

    What he does is give you a free gift. [3rd person singular, present tense]
    What they did was give you a free gift. [past tense]
    What they don't do is give you a free gift. [negative]
    What they do do is give you a free gift. [assertive/emphatic do]
    What they are doing is giving you a free gift. [An -ing form is required with doing]
    Giving you a free gift is what they do. [An -ing form works better as a subject]

    The following are incorrect:

    They don't do give you a free gift.:cross:
    They do do give you a free gift.:cross:
    They are doing giving you a free gift.:cross:

    This last bears some resemblance to "They are doing some cleaning", but it does not work because of the indirect and direct objects, which prevent our interpreting the gerund as a noun.
     
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