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In the following sentence:

"My job was to ride all of the horses and then to feed all of those horses."

Do I need a "to" before the word "feed?"

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Aug 17 '17 at 20:28

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  • Your choice.... – Hot Licks Aug 17 '17 at 2:02
  • Is there a formal explanation for this? – Rampant_Pierce Aug 17 '17 at 2:18
  • It depends on how you want it parsed. One prepositional phrase with the conjunction inside the phrase, or two separate phrases joined by the conjunction. – Hot Licks Aug 17 '17 at 2:21
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    Conjuncton Reduction, which is the rule that deletes the second to, is optional; i.e, you're not required to apply it. That's the formal explanation for why both constructions are grammatical. – John Lawler Aug 17 '17 at 2:46
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    @JohnLawler Sometimes it helps the meter: "To be or not be..." wouldn't work as well in Hamlet. – Barmar Aug 17 '17 at 3:42
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I don't think you do need "to", but it does no harm - your meaning is totally clear. You can also change it to " then (to) feed them all."

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