The sentence is this:

I don't want to make anyone do anything that I don't want to (do).

Can I omit the word 'do' in parentheses?

please, tell me.


2 Answers 2


Yes you can omit it. The forms with and without "do" have a very different rhythm, but I can't detect any difference in meaning.


Yes, it is grammatical in English to omit the repetition of a key verb in a parallel construction. Your example is typical. At least in speech in the US, such omissions are also highly idiomatic.

In writing, it is best to be careful of such omissions. The more complicated is the thought, the more involved the sentence, the more likely is the reader to be confused by the omission of a key verb. Nevertheless, good writers certainly do make such omissions in simple sentences such as your example. Because clues to intended meaning are so much fewer in writing than in speech, I tend to minimize such omissions in writing, but that is a matter of personal style, not grammar.

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