1
  1. The first thing I did was buy the tickets to go to Europe.
  2. The first thing I did was to buy the tickets to go to Europe.
  3. The first thing I did was buying the tickets to go to Europe.

Can someone tell me which of the following sentences is correct and why?

  • To my untrained ear they all sound OK, probably because in '1' the "buy" leans toward being a noun... – Victor Bazarov Sep 13 '15 at 13:26
  • You could also say "The first thing I did was I bought the tickets to go to Europe." This option is probably the least formal. – Era Jan 18 '16 at 21:23
  • ell.stackexchange.com/a/96243/33000 – user33000 Sep 15 '16 at 6:30
  • ell.stackexchange.com/a/35429/33000 – user33000 Sep 15 '16 at 6:34
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They would all be perfectly acceptable to any (British at least) native English speaker.

Sentence one would be the most common form used, it's slightly less formal than the second (most people wouldn't use the infinitive form of the verb when talking about themselves).

The third sentence is more of a narrative. It comes across as less of a statement and more of a first person past-tense dialogue rather than a statement of past actions.

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