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I heard someone say " I don't smoke more cigarettes than i need to get a kick out of.", and i was wondering whether what he said is grammatically correct.

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  • That's...a good question. I can certainly parse it and determine what it means, but I'm not 100% sure it's grammatical. Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 10:53
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    I mean, it's definitely a valid construct to say "I don't [transitive verb] more [nouns] than I need to [verb]" (for example, "I don't breathe more air than I need to survive"). but "get a kick out of" as a verb phrase is tripping up my parser here. Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 10:55
  • What would your conclusive opinion about the sentence be? Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 17:59

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I don't think it is patently wrong, but I would say:

I don't smoke more cigarettes than necessary to get a kick out of.

which would also avoid the repetitive "to to" in the proper form of your phrase "than (I need to) (to get)".

"a kick out of" sounds odd, but it may just be me. I would prefer "a kick from".

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  • So, if he had used "I don't smoke more cigarettes than i need to to get a kick from." , would that be grammatically correct? Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 9:58
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From you original sentence

I don't smoke more cigarettes than I need to get a kick out of.

the speaker is saying

I don't smoke more cigarettes than I need to (to) get a kick out of ( it / them ).

meaning

I don't smoke more cigarettes than necessary to get a nicotine kick.

referring to the high one experiences during smoking.

The possible sloppiness may be due to the fact that it was spoken, possibly while having one of those cigarettes, possibly saying "to get a kick out of" while looking at the cigarette.

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