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Why don't we have "to" before the verb "dine" in the following example? Is it because it borrows it from "to come"?

Example (1): Whenever he feels lonely, he invites a neighbour to come and dine with him.

In case the sentence is written in the following manner:

Example (2): Whenever he feels lonely, he invites a neighbour to dine with him.

I think we should keep the "to" since it follows the pattern:
[Verb + object + to + infinitive] Isn't it?

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  • I'm sure you didn't intend to drop to come from between neighbour and and in example #2. But that's the unforgivable syntactic sin, whereas there's nothing remotely unusual about the stylistic choice not to repeat to before dine. Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 17:45
  • I've not heard this kind of "optional deletion of predictably repeated elements" described in terms of the later word "borrowing" its syntactically-expected partners from a preceding instance (i.e. - [to] dine "borrows" the missing infinitive marker from to come). But if that helps you understand the syntax, by all means go for it! Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 17:52
  • @Meriem AISSAOUI The "to" is optional but usually omitted in such coordinations. In this case, there's a coordination of two VPs: [to [dine] and [eat]].
    – BillJ
    Commented Sep 29, 2022 at 7:35

1 Answer 1

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Why don't we have "to" before the verb "dine" in the following example? Is it because it borrows it from "to come"?

We don’t have “to” before “dine” in your first example because it’s common practice to omit the second “to” when two infinitives are joined with an “and”. It would also be correct to include the second “to”.

Source: https://staff.washington.edu/marynell/grammar/infini.html

I think we should keep the "to" since it follows the pattern: [Verb + object + to + infinitive] Isn't it?

This is correct, but the pattern is [verb + object + infinitive]. In this pattern “to” is part of the infinitive.

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