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  1. I want to more productive.
  2. I want to be more productive.

Which sentence is correct by English standards. I am writing my appraisal form.

3 Answers 3

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Want takes either a noun phrase or a to- infinitive clause.

"More productive" is neither, so it cannot be the object of want.

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The second option is correct - you need the "be" in that sentence. "be" is your verb in that sentence

Hopefully someone who knows grammar will be able to explain why (I never studied English grammar - just a native speaker)

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The correct answer is #2.

The sentence actually has a main verb (want) in it either way, but “want” is usually followed by either a verb phrase in the infinitive, or by a noun phrase.

“To be more productive” is an infinitive verb phrase because the infinitive form of the verb is “to be.” If you remove “be,” you have just the infinitive identifier “to” by itself, which doesn’t make sense. (“To” can also be a preposition, but then it would need to be followed by a noun phrase rather than an adjective, and furthermore you would not generally write “I want” (prepositional phrase).)

You could write “I want more productivity” (that is using a noun phrase), but you can’t remove the verb from the infinitive verb form.

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