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I was wondering which sentence below is grammatically correct?

1- Before getting to know him, I had so many proposals and I could have married anybody I wanted. But I chose him!
2- Before getting to know him, I had so many proposals and I could have married anybody I wanted to. But I chose him!

I think, the preposition "to" in second case is redundant, though the original sentence from a book written by a non-native person has included it within the sentence.

Actually, whereas the bare infinitives are "marry someone" and "get married to someone", I think if thee writer was going to use that "to", he/she should have written it in the following way:

  • Before getting to know him, I had so many proposals and I could have gotten married anybody I wanted to. But I chose him!

Please kindly let me know whether I think properly and the author of the book has made a mistake or not. Thank you in advance.

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1- I could have married anybody I wanted.

2- I could have married anybody I wanted to.

These sentences are both correct, but the difference between them has nothing to do with the "marry" v "get married to" distinction.

The "to" at the end of the second sentence isn't part of "married to".

Rather, the second sentence says "I could have married anybody I wanted to [marry]", with just the bare infinitive elided, while the first says "I could have married anybody I wanted [to marry]", with the full infinitive elided. Both work.

Your sentence:

I could have gotten married anybody I wanted to

is wrong, because it should be either "I could have gotten married to anybody I wanted to" or "I could have gotten married to anybody I wanted".

Again, you can choose how much to elide at the end ("...I wanted to [get married to]" versus "... I wanted [to get married to]"), but the "to" after "married" needs to be there in the phrase "get married to" / "gotten married to".

(Note: In British English, it's "got married to"; AmE "gotten married to", as in your sentence.)

"I could have gotten married anybody I wanted [to]" (without the "to" after "married") is technically correct but means that you could have arranged for anyone that you wanted to get married to get married (to someone else, not to you)!

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  • Well, whereas the simple verb "want" is followed by a "to" prior to any other verb after it, I think we must use the preposition at the end of each case! I mean the only grammatically correct sentences are: "I could have married anybody I wanted to" and "I could have gotten married to anybody I wanted to. And the versions without that "to" at the end are incorrect. But, what you mentioned in your answer is against my take on the matter. Please kindly enlighten me.
    – A-friend
    Oct 31 '20 at 18:54
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    @A-friend I don't agree with your take. "I do whatever I want to do" can be abbreviated to "I do whatever I want to" or to "I do whatever I want".
    – rjpond
    Oct 31 '20 at 19:01
  • Just out of curiosity, may I ask you whether in the following sentence, we adding the preposition "to" at the end of the current construction is optional too: "You can do it however you want to"? (The original sentence dos not contain the preposition and as per your statements I guess it would be our choice either omit it or use it. I am wondering if I am right @rjpond?
    – A-friend
    Nov 4 '20 at 14:04
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    Yes, you are correct.
    – rjpond
    Nov 4 '20 at 16:38

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