You should learn about how to not to be egoistic.

2 people (both are English native speakers) have corrected my sentence above,

  1. You should learn how not to be egoistical.
  2. You should learn how to not to be so egoistic.

One of them told me that about isn't necessary because it makes no grammatical sense. The thing that I still have a doubt about is the usage of how to not to be. As you can see above, two people have different perspectives as to how I use the phrase. I read from here, that (as per my understanding) writing to not be and not to be would be possible.

The question is, do I still have to put to after how?

  • 2
    "(How) to be or (how) not to be" that is the question." "(Where) To sleep or (where) not to sleep?"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 6, 2022 at 6:48

1 Answer 1


The first sentence is correct; the second one is unnecessarily wordy and therefore incorrect. “How to not to be” is, as far as I know, not a valid sentence structure or phrasing and should not be used. You can say “how to be” or “how not to be” but “how to not to be” does not make any sense.

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