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I'm having some trouble with sentences joined by "And" , like I like to go ciclyng and I like to play chess. can I say, I like to go ciclying and to play chess ? or do I need to repeat the verb ?

Also, I have a similar phrase

MARKETING is the art of promoting products to compete with other companies and to boost your sales. is that properly said ? I'm not very sure about this Double "to's" thanks :)

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  • Yes, you can say, "I like to go cycling and to play chess." Notice the proper spelling of "cycling" is with a Y after the first C, not an I. In addition, you can say it how you originally said it and say, "I like to go cycling and I like to play chess." While splitting infinitives used to be frowned upon long ago, it's not anymore, so you can also split the second infinitive by dropping the second "to" and say, "I like to go cycling and play chess." Your final sentence that starts "MARKETING" is also grammatical, and whether you say the second "to" is optional, just like in your prior example. May 7, 2021 at 19:40
  • No need to repeat the "to". That's the main thing.
    – Lambie
    May 7, 2021 at 19:48
  • Conjunction Reduction strikes again! May 7, 2021 at 21:03
  • thanks everyone! you helped a lot, appreciate that feedback, have a nice day :)
    – Charlie Wright
    May 9, 2021 at 15:55

1 Answer 1

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"I like to go cycling and play chess."

"I like to go cycling and I like to play chess."

"I like to go cycling and to play chess."

These are all acceptable but they can have slightly different nuances of meaning. The first one might give the impression that you are going cycling in order to play chess or as a prelude to playing chess. For instance, you may enjoy cycling to the local chess club meeting.

It can even suggest that you play chess while you're cycling! Although that would be an unlikely interpretation in the context of this example, it would be less unlikely if you were saying, "I like to sing and dance." There's certainly an indication in this construction that the two pleasures may be connected in some way.

The second one suggests most clearly that cycling and playing chess are two distinct activities which you can enjoy independently of each other. ("I like to sing and I like to dance.")

The third example is a shade more ambiguous although, like the others, its grammar is perfectly sound. It's not clear whether or not there's any connection between the activities (other than the fact that you like them) when you use this construction. The most likely meaning relies more on context than grammar.

Sometimes writers get bogged down by questions of grammar or style when the real problem that's worrying them is clarity of meaning. This can often be easily solved by changing the construction of the sentence altogether. E.g., "Chess and cycling are activities I enjoy." Or even just, "I like cycling and chess."

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  • Hello, Gerry. Although the mechanics of conjunction reduction has been dealt with before on ELU, I can't remember the associated nuances in meaning being spelled out so clearly. May 8, 2021 at 11:49
  • thanks buddy, you helped a lot! nice feedback, have a nice day :)
    – Charlie Wright
    May 9, 2021 at 15:56

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