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Question
Dear Ted:

Which of the following sentences is correct?

1) The rodeo performer had suffered many injuries while trying to ride bulls and to rope heifers, so he decided to hang up his boots AND FIND a less painful job.

2) The rodeo performer had suffered many injuries while trying to ride bulls and to rope heifers, so he decided to hang up his boots AND TO FIND a less painful job.

3) The rodeo performer had suffered many injuries while trying to ride bulls and to rope heifers, so he decided to hang up his boots TO FIND a less painful job.

Again, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Which of the following sentences is correct?

1) The rodeo performer had suffered many injuries while trying to ride bulls and to rope heifers, so he decided to hang up his boots AND FIND a less painful job.

2) The rodeo performer had suffered many injuries while trying to ride bulls and to rope heifers, so he decided to hang up his boots AND TO FIND a less painful job.

3) The rodeo performer had suffered many injuries while trying to ride bulls and to rope heifers, so he decided to hang up his boots TO FIND a less painful job.

*** The first sentence is correct.  There are two infinitive phrases: to hang up AND to find.  Because you have used the conjunction "and," you do not need to repeat the second "to."

Here is the rule:


   In a sentence with two infinitives connected by and, the second to is usually omitted.

e.g., I expect to swim and surf in Hawaii.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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