two infinitives in a sentence

wsiabato

Member
Spanish - Colombia
Hi Guys,
I wonder if I should use the infinitive form in both of the verbs. Could please tell me which option is better or if any of them is wrong. Thanks.
  • I have been user for years but until now I decided to register and to make my first post.
  • I have been user for years but until now I decided to register and make my first post

Is there a rule in order to know when to use the infinitive form more than once in the same sentence?

Thanks,

WS
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I don't know of any rule, but the second sentence sounds so much more natural. It needs some tweaking though:

    I have been a user for years but now I have decided to register and make my first post.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    I'm sure somebody will correct me if I'm wrong, but I am pretty certain that register and make are both infinitives in both sentences whether the to is in the position immediately before both verbs or before just the first verb. In your first example, the to is used both times, and in the second, it's only used before the first verb, but it carries over to both even though it's used only once. So both are already infinitives.

    Unfortunately, there is no rule that determines when you need to use to both times and when you don't. In some sentences the second to adds clarity, and in some it makes for a better rhythm. In those cases, it can be left in. (I edited a sentence just today, in fact, in which I decided to add the second to even though the writer had left it out.) But if it's clear without that second to, it can be left out. I wish I could give you clearer direction, but if there is some sort of rule or guideline, I am unaware of it.
     
    Last edited:

    wsiabato

    Member
    Spanish - Colombia
    Very good!!! Thanks for your advice and time. From now on I will omit the second to, at least in this kind of sentences.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Welcome to the forum, Wsiabato! :)

    I have been a user for years, but until now I've decided to register and to make my first post.
    I have been a user for years, but until now I've decided to register and make my first post.
    It's perfectly all right to use infinitives more than once in the same sentence if it makes sense to do so—and in this case, it does. It's also okay to omit the second "to" in this context, as you've done in your second version (it's still an infinitive).

    P.S.: I've indicated a couple of other small but necessary corrections."Until now" refers to the time before you decided to register.
     
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