I saw this sentence:

But you can use this also, if you want to!

I'm just wondering, what is the difference from this:

But you can use this also, if you want!

When and why should I attach to?

  • 1
    I think that dangling prepostion is somewhat idiomatic. No difference, especially in informal speech.
    – J.R.
    Oct 23 '13 at 14:48
  • In ellipsis the pronunciation of the auxiliary/modal verbs and to is usually strong, so you leave the to in that case.
    – Schwale
    Dec 3 '15 at 0:09

You can attach it if you want.

There's no difference in meaning, so you can leave it off if you want to.

  • 1
    Now you're just being mean!
    – corsiKa
    Oct 23 '13 at 20:29
  • 1
    Question: Should we upvote when "This is neat. It answers my confusion!" or when "I am an expert at this. I knew this answer is right. And I upvote it as an endorsement"? Nov 6 '18 at 3:24
  • 1
    @user2008151314 That's a great question, but it's best asked on meta. You've already asked it there, which is great! I'll just explain why, briefly. Basically, if you ask this in a comment on my answer, you're unlikely to get an answer from anyone but me. And if I do answer it here, not many people will see it and learn from it (or disagree and downvote, then supply their own answer, or any of the other things that normally happen with Q&A). That's why we've got a dedicated meta site where you can ask this sort of thing.
    – user230
    Nov 13 '18 at 4:55

This is a matter of elision, the removal of words that are predictable, done to speed up our communications. Here is your intended thought with progressive elisions: You can use this, if you want to use it. You can use this, if you want to. You can use this, if you want. You can use this, if wanted.

  • 2
    Mostly right, but the omission of words and phrases is ellipsis; elision is the omission or slurring of sounds. Dec 2 '15 at 23:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .