be to click... and to tap ..., not to spend...

LQZ

Senior Member
Mandarin
What they have to do is just to click the mouse and tap the keyboard, not spending time going to the post office.
Dear all,

Tha above is from another forum. I indeed think it can be improved like this:

What they have to do is just to click the mouse and to tape the keybord, not to spend time going to the post office.

Parallelism is required in this context. Am I right? Thanks in advance.


LQZ
 
  • Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Parallelism isn't required, but it would make the sentence easier to read, and it would sound better. These verbs do not need to be in the infinitive, though. Also, just throws off the parallelism a bit, for me, so I would leave it out.

    What they have to do is (just) click the mouse and tap the keyboard, not spend time going to the post office.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Parallelism isn't required, but it would make the sentence easier to read, and it would sound better. These verbs do not need to be in the infinitive, though. Also, just throws off the parallelism a bit, for me, so I would leave it out.

    What they have to do is (just) click the mouse and tap the keyboard, not spend time going to the post office.
    Thanks again, I have one more question.

    Does the original sound grammatically correct to native speakers?

    What they have to do is just to click the mouse and tap the keyboard, not spending time going to the post office.
     

    Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    The only part about the original that really sounds odd to me is the last verb, spending. You would be understood, if you said this, and some people will insist that it is fine. It just sounds a bit odd to me.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    The only part about the original that really sounds odd to me is the last verb, spending. You would be understood, if you said this, and some people will insist that it is fine. It just sounds a bit odd to me.
    Thanks, Cyphenpunk.:)
     
    How about this:

    All
    they have to do is click the mouse and tap the keybord, and not spend time going to the post office.

    As Cypherpunk says, you don't need the sequence of infinitives. "To do" is enough, after that, you only need the root words ("click", "tap," and "spend").
     
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