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Going through an exercise in a book I found the following allegedly correct sentence:

Far better to do that than buy presents for everybody!

Is it correct? If I can replace "buy presents for everybody" with "this", does that mean that the correct form of the original sentence should be "buying presents for everybody"?

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The example you cite is correct. The verbs "to do" and "to buy" are used in the infinitive mood, and the single "to" is intended to apply to both of them. The full form of the second clause is "to buy presents for everybody!"

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  • Thanks! Does it always work like that? For example, in "I'd prefer to sleep or play football rather than climb a mountain" does the to apply to all the verbs? – Pipicito Jun 28 '16 at 23:38
  • Yes, exactly. Some speakers might even say "I'd prefer to sleep or to play football rather than to climb a mountain." – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jun 29 '16 at 0:08

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