do I need 'to' here?

Magg

Senior Member
Spain / Spanish
Hello,

This is the sentence and I don't know whether to write 'to' or not where que question mark '?' is placed. And would you explain why?

When we arrived in Manchester, the first thing we did was ? look for our hotel.

Thanks a lot
Magg
 
  • Focalist

    Senior Member
    European Union, English
    -- the first thing we did was to look for our hotel
    -- the first thing we did was look for our hotel

    You can say either! (Not very helpful, is it? :))

    The second might be slightly more colloquial, but both are perfectly acceptable, in my humble opinion.

    F
     

    Magg

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    Gracias Art.
    ¿Puedes comprobar si estoy en lo cierto?:

    What I like the most is (to) spend time with my friends. (with or without 'to')
    What I like to do the most is spend time with my friends. (no 'to' because it is already in the sentence)

    Do I have to apply the rule like this?

    Thanks
    M.
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    Magg said:
    Gracias Art.
    ¿Puedes comprobar si estoy en lo cierto?:

    What I like the most is (to) spend time with my friends. (with or without 'to')
    What I like to do the most is spend time with my friends. (no 'to' because it is already in the sentence)

    Do I have to apply the rule like this?

    Thanks
    M.


    I like >>> like + to infinitive or like+noun/gerund

    La segunda oración es un poquito rara para mí, pero no está mal. Yo le pondría el "to". O diría "What I like to do the most is spending time..."

    Pero tengo dudas con esto>>> "What I like to do the most "

    Habría que esperar a que algún nativo nos aclare este punto, por lo menos a mí.

    Besos!! :p
     

    Focalist

    Senior Member
    European Union, English
    Look out! Here comes a "native" sowing confusion..;)

    [a.] What I like the most is (to) spend time with my friends. (with or without 'to')
    [b.] What I like to do the most is spend time with my friends. (no 'to' because it is already in the sentence)
    1. The 'to' in sentence [a.] is obligatory (unless, of course, you change 'spend' to 'spending').
    2. 'To' before 'spend' in sentence [b.] is optional. I think the sentence sounds better without it.
    3. 'What I like to do the most' would be better expressed as 'What I most like to do'.

    F
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    Focalist said:
    Look out! Here comes a "native" sowing confusion..;)

    1. The 'to' in sentence [a.] is obligatory (unless, of course, you change 'spend' to 'spending').
    2. 'To' before 'spend' in sentence [b.] is optional. I think the sentence sounds better without it.
    3. 'What I like to do the most' would be better expressed as 'What I most like to do'.

    F



    Thank you Profe!!! :thumbsup:
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Magg said:
    Gracias Art.
    ¿Puedes comprobar si estoy en lo cierto?:

    What I like the most is (to) spend time with my friends. (with or without 'to')
    What I like to do the most is spend time with my friends. (no 'to' because it is already in the sentence)

    Do I have to apply the rule like this?

    Thanks
    M.

    As far as rules go, I'm sure there is one floating around somewhere :) . Both of these sentences are fine. Remember that repeating infinitives is not necessary; in other words, repeating "to" isn't necessary but at the same time isn't wrong. I'm sure I've said: "What I like to do most is to spend time with friends."
    But probably would say: "What I like to do most is spend time with my friends".
    Or how about: "What I like doing most is spending time with my friends".
    Should I go on??? No! :eek:

    Just like a lot of things, it is a matter of personal choice.

    Saludos
     

    herman zermitz

    New Member
    england, english
    Agree with Focalist and Jacinta.

    A still more colloquial formula would be:

    "What I most like doing is" + infinitive ("spending time with friends" etc)

    Herman
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    herman zermitz said:
    Agree with Focalist and Jacinta.

    A still more colloquial formula would be:

    "What I most like doing is" + infinitive ("spending time with friends" etc)

    Herman


    Well, Herman, in fact "spending" is a gerund, not an infinitive... ;)
     

    Eustache

    Senior Member
    Costa Rica
    recuerda que siempre que tienes verbos que provoquen "placer" como like, love, adore enjoy, prefer, hate, can't stand, don't mind, finish o look forward to... siempre se usa:

    v + ing


    pura vida!!!! :)
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    vriverad said:
    recuerda que siempre que tienes verbos que provoquen "placer" como like, love, adore enjoy, prefer, hate, can't stand, don't mind, finish o look forward to... siempre se usa:

    v + ing


    pura vida!!!! :)


    No siempre V :p !! Se puede usar el "to infinitive" también. Mirá esta explicación:

    :arrow: In British English, like + ing form is used mostly to talk about enjoyment, and like + infinitive mostly to talk about choices and habits.

    :arrow: In American English, like + infinitive is common in both senses.

    I like climbing mountains (BrE)

    I like to climb mountains (AmE)
     

    zeppo

    Senior Member
    USA
    jacinta said:
    As far as rules go, I'm sure there is one floating around somewhere :) . Both of these sentences are fine.
    Saludos

    Well, just to be clear, with the first sentence, it is asked whether it is okay as written with and/or without the "to". That sentence is only fine *if* the "to" is left in (*as written*). Without it, it is not correct.
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    zeppo said:
    Well, just to be clear, with the first sentence, it is asked whether it is okay as written with and/or without the "to". That sentence is only fine *if* the "to" is left in (*as written*). Without it, it is not correct.

    Yes, I agree, if we are talking about these sentences, right?

    What I like the most is (to) spend time with my friends. (with or without 'to')
    What I like to do the most is spend time with my friends. (no 'to' because it is already in the sentence)

    Chao
     

    Magg

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    OK. Got it!

    One more question. Could I also use 'best' instead of 'most'?

    What I best like ...

    And what about:
    I like apples best/most. Is it fine?

    Magg
     

    Focalist

    Senior Member
    European Union, English
    Magg said:
    OK. Got it!

    One more question. Could I also use 'best' instead of 'most'?

    What I best like ...
    No, it has to be "what I like best".

    And what about:
    I like apples best/most.
    Both fine. "I like apples the best" is another possibility.

    F
     

    zeppo

    Senior Member
    USA
    jacinta said:
    Yes, I agree, if we are talking about these sentences, right?

    Chao

    Yes, I was commenting in regards to the first of those sentences, and only as written in the question, just to clarify.
     

    cristóbal

    Senior Member
    EEUU/Inglés
    Focalist said:
    Both fine. "I like apples the best" is another possibility.

    F

    This would be my preferred way to say it... I think "I like apples most" sounds just an eency weency bit awkward to me. Whereas:

    I like apples best
    I like apples the best
    I like apples the most

    all sound fine... How picky we are with our language, huh?
     

    Magg

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    OK! Thanks all.

    Cristóbal, you're right, your language is sometimes desesperately tricky. :confused:

    Magg :)
     

    cristóbal

    Senior Member
    EEUU/Inglés
    Magg said:
    OK! Thanks all.

    Cristóbal, you're right, your language is sometimes desesperately tricky. :confused:

    Magg :)

    Something I've been trying to cope with all my life! :D

    Oh, and it's "desperately" The easiest way to remember that is that we mispelled the word in Spanish for the movie "Desperado" with Antonio Banderas... ;)

    desperate
    desesperado

    desesperadamente
    desperately
     

    sendai

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    Focalist said:
    1. The 'to' in sentence [a.] is obligatory (unless, of course, you change 'spend' to 'spending').
    Really? It sounds completely fine to me with or without the "to". Maybe it's a difference between British and American English. (Saying "spending" sounds okay, too.)

    3. 'What I like to do the most' would be better expressed as 'What I most like to do'.
    I would have said, "What I like to do most". All of the options expressed so far sound fine to me, though.
     

    cristóbal

    Senior Member
    EEUU/Inglés
    sendai said:
    Really? It sounds completely fine to me with or without the "to". Maybe it's a difference between British and American English. (Saying "spending" sounds okay, too.)

    Hmmm... are you referring to "What I like most is spend time with my friends." ?? That sounds really weird to me without the "to" or without changing spend to the gerund. Perhaps it sounds ok when you say it because the "to" that ought to be there is hardly noticeable, but it would definitely be grammatically incorrect to leave it as "... I like most is spend..."
     

    sendai

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    cristóbal said:
    Hmmm... are you referring to "What I like most is spend time with my friends." ?? That sounds really weird to me without the "to" or without changing spend to the gerund. Perhaps it sounds ok when you say it because the "to" that ought to be there is hardly noticeable, but it would definitely be grammatically incorrect to leave it as "... I like most is spend..."
    Oops! I misread the sentence. You and Focalist are completely right. :eek:
     

    jaykemin

    Senior Member
    English
    When we arrived in Manchester, the first thing we did was ? look for our hotel.
    In this sentence you don't have to place a question mark. You can simply say
    When we arrived in Manchester, the first thing we did was to look for a hotel.
    or
    The first thing we did when we arrived in Manchester was to look for a hotel.

    As simple as that....

    Hope this would help
     
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