Consider a simple to-do list:

  • To make exercises.
  • To call Jane.
  • To buy wine.


  • Make exercises.
  • Call Jane.
  • Buy wine.

Which version is correct/better? Does they have a difference in their meaning?

Edit: I don't ask about how to write to-do lists. The metaphor of to-do list is used just for convenience. I ask about the difference in the meaning of these short sentences.

  • 1
    You can write your own to-do list however you wish. However I use the style in the second example. It's just a list of things, like a shopping list. Here you write "Buy wine" as one job to do, but on the shopping list itself you would write "Wine" because it is a shopping list, and so you know it lists things you need to buy. Similarly, this is a to-do list, so you know it contains jobs to do. Nov 19, 2019 at 15:04
  • @WeatherVane This is just an example. Of course, I can write it in any way. I can even draw the images. But I want to understand the difference between proposed examples.
    – john c. j.
    Nov 19, 2019 at 15:28
  • 1
    I don't think anyone would write it the first way, it doesn't seem right. This blog says When “to” appears with an infinitive, it is generally referred to as an “infinitive marker” or “infinitive particle”; it is not part of the verb and is not always used.. Nov 19, 2019 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Since the title reads to-do list, there is no difference between the two sets of 'to-dos'. Anyone able to fog a mirror would understand that these are the tasks/jobs to be done, and it is a list of them.

So, to answer, there is no difference because the context is clear. Secondly, you can write the way you want. However, I'd prefer the second list to avoid redundancy. It's already to -do list ...so I'd simply write the task rather adding to again.

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