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When I have a sentence like this: (Port in this context is a network port)

When the port can be connected, it is assumed that the instrument is ready for the test to start.

Do I need the to in there

When the port can be connected to, it is assumed that the instrument is ready for the test to start.

I would assume it is only required when I have something after the to. Like Connected to WiFi. I found Connected 'with it / to it'? which is similar but does not answer if you can use connected without either.

3 Answers 3

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It's probably better without the "to", you usually only use "to" when you want to describe something along with something else, e.g.:

You can connect the charger to the ipad.

Or you can describe this as something "modifying" something else.

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Without an object of what you're connecting to, the word stands alone. If you add "to", you must state what you're connecting to. So, in your example:

When the port can be connected, it is assumed....

or

When the port can be connected to the cable, it is assumed....,

Other examples:

I got connected.

I got connected to the Internet.

We are connected on the organizational chart.

We are connected to the same supervisor on the organizational chart.

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The original sentence is very confusing and not grammatical. Two things can be connected, or one thing can be connected to another thing, but one thing cannot be "connected" on its own. Adding "to" makes it better, but it still is rather convoluted.

I would re-write the sentence in the active voice:

"When the port will accept a connection, [the user can assume/the program will assume/etc] that the the instrument is ready for the test to start."

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