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I met such an sentence : "All i want is to mess around" And I was wondering why there is to ? this is the rule or so it should be in English .Just where to appears, and somewhere in such sentences does not .Thanks

2 Answers 2

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All I want is to mess around.

and

All I want is ice cream.

Both sentences have the form, "All I want is X." Consider that if the speaker were not specifying that X was the only thing she desired, she could have said "I want X." But shifting to the non-unique desire does not change the way that we express X," whether that be "ice cream" or "to mess around."

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  • thanks for help :)
    – Omegon
    Mar 9, 2021 at 17:10
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Want has to be followed by a complement. The complement can be a noun or pronoun as an object, or a verb in the to-infinitive form, or an object plus a verb in the to-infinitive form.

So

All I want is to mess around.

is the correct way to make this sentence.

The only answer for why we use the to-infinitive and not the bare infinitive is probably "Because that is the way English is."

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  • I thought that by this rule we would use : "All I want is to mess around.".but here we have after want is . Or does to refer to want?
    – Omegon
    Mar 7, 2021 at 21:18
  • @Omegon I'm not sure what your question is "All I want is to mess around" is the correct form. The to is part of "to mess around", if that is what you are asking.
    – stangdon
    Mar 7, 2021 at 21:24
  • I apologize if I don't explain it well and thank you for your help. I understand to infinitive after want "I want to eat". But I do not know if is is wedged between them (between want and to ) should something change or not ?
    – Omegon
    Mar 7, 2021 at 21:31
  • @Omegon No, nothing changes. You still use the to-infinitive.
    – stangdon
    Mar 8, 2021 at 12:44

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