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Which of the following is grammatically correct, or are they both gramatically correct?

  • We use this product in order to increase work efficiency and to streamline testing.
  • We use this product in order to increase work efficiency and streamline testing.

I tried expanding the sentences, but I'm not sure if my expansions are correct either: - We use this product in order (to increase work efficiency) and (in order to streamline testing). - We use this product in order to (increase work efficiency) and (streamline testing).

Help is greatly appreciated!

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Sometimes adding the locution "both/and" (or "either/or" or "neither/nor")can cement what are saying in the mind of your hearers/readers a little better, because you are giving them an aural/verbal clue as to connection between two concepts--in your case, work efficiency and streamline testing. Hence, "We use this product both to increase work efficiency and to streamline testing." The second "to" is not necessary but, again, for memorability's sake, you should probably include it. –  rhetorician Mar 17 '13 at 18:49

3 Answers 3

I do not consider the two sentences to be grammatically equivalent, and here's why:

Your expansion of the first sentence is not accurate. It should read: We use this product in order to increase work efficiency and (we use this product in order to) to streamline testing. Notice that what you have then is the repetitive use of "to." This clearly demonstrates that the first sentence is grammatically incorrect.

Therefore, if you choose to retain the verbiage "in order to" (which, although admittedly more formal and emphatic, as you suggest, is also somewhat pompous and verbose) then you should choose the second sentence, which is grammatically fine.

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I think that's the wrong expansion of the first sentence. The correct expansion is "We use this product in order to increase work efficiency and (we use this product) to streamline testing." It's grammatical, it means the same thing, but it lacks the parallelism it would have if you dropped the second to. –  Peter Shor Jan 21 at 16:18

Parallel structure would be either one of these two:

We use this product to increase work efficiency and to streamline testing.
We use this product to increase work efficiency and streamline testing.

The words in order are superfluous and, therefore, verbose.

Non-parallel structure would be something like this:

We use this product to increase work efficiency and for streamlining testing.

This last sentence is poor style.

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+1 Particularly agree that dropping in order is stylistically preferable for terseness, but also see my answer. –  John M. Landsberg Mar 18 '13 at 6:51

The variations possible here are a matter of pragmatics rather than syntax.

The "in order to" makes it more formal and emphatic and purposeful, although it is actually implied if you omit it.

The final "to" if omitted increases the feeling of parallelism in the sense of semantic equivalence - increased efficiency and streamlined testing are two sides to the same coin. In fact, the main function here is to point out that testing is part of the work that will be made more efficient.

The final "to" when included is deliberately separating out the two objects (aims pragmatically, and objects of "to" syntactically - the infinitive verb acts as a noun, with the purpose being implied by the metaphor of directionality whether or not the "in order" is there). This is saying, that streamlined testing is not just a general by product of general increased efficiency, but a specific goal in its own right. You are deliberately reducing the parallelism.

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