Could you please explain the grammatical structure for the sentence below? There are 3 uses of 'to' in this sentence, and I have no idea how to interpret them.

Full sentence

As with interpersonal relationships, the net benefit that people need TO achieve TO decide TO stay in a community depends upon the alternatives that are available.

1 Answer 1


The sentence is a little awkward, but we can parse the meaning more easily by breaking it into smaller phrases.

The net benefit (that people need to achieve) (to decide to stay in a community) depends upon the alternatives.

In the first phrase, that people need to achieve is a relative clause describing the benefit.

The second phrase starts with to to express purpose. In this case, the purpose of achieving the net benefit, is so that the people can decide to stay.

  • I totally understand it. Many thanks! Just saying that it is about user behavior on online communities. Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 23:21

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