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This is the sentence I wrote:

It is as simple as adding or removing an item to/from the list.

Now I'm wondering if I should use "to" or "from" or "to/from" in:

  1. Written English,
  2. Spoken English.
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marked as duplicate by Andrew Leach, Matt Эллен, choster, MετάEd, Hellion Jun 27 '13 at 17:20

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Your issue isn't that there are multiple verbs. "It is as simple as opening, reading, and closing the book" has no issues. Your issue is you want to use verb phrases - "adding to", "removing from" and that's why I changed your title –  Kate Gregory Jun 27 '13 at 12:44
    
@KateGregory Sure! I didn't know how to name this word that follows the verb and now I know that it's "preposition". I wanted to use it in the title too :) Thanks! –  Paul Jun 27 '13 at 12:52
    
@AndrewLeach Hmmm, they suggest rewriting sentence but what if I don't want to rewrite it? What preposition should be used? Is it acceptable sentence anyway or it is wrong without possibility to fix it and should be rewritten? –  Paul Jun 27 '13 at 13:26
1  
They suggest using the relevant preposition with each verb, which is actually what is also suggested in a now-deleted answer here to your question: "It is as simple as adding to or removing from the list." Spoken English tends to be a little bit more lax and you could probably get away with saying "It is as simple as adding or removing from the list." –  Andrew Leach Jun 27 '13 at 13:59
    
Andrew Leach et al.: Sorry but that dupe does not answer this question. Try. –  Kris Jun 28 '13 at 7:00

2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Paul, English is not my native language, but I'm an English teacher (English as a foreign language).

I think you should write:

It is as simple as adding or removing an item from the list.

I can't really explain why, but that's what I think.

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Welcome to EL&U. I like your proposed sentence. I wonder if you might improve your answer by citing a reference? –  rajah9 Jun 27 '13 at 14:14
    
rajah9 The particle (preposition) is not really part of the verb, but an essential link between the verb and its stated or implied object.So I believe it can be omitted in this particular sentence. I'm sorry I can't give a reference, this is just an opinion, which doesn't need to be correct. –  Bojana Jun 27 '13 at 15:02
    
Alright! I think I understand how it works now. If anybody has a reliable resource to attach to this answer, that would be great! Now I'm only concerned about how much formal is it to omit one preposition and leave only from. Is it something that a native English speaker would notice if I wrote it without to? Is it formal enough that I could place in an article or a book? –  Paul Jun 27 '13 at 17:10

The particle (preposition) is not really part of the verb, but an essential link between the verb and its stated or implied object.So I believe it can be omitted in this particular sentence. I'm sorry I can't give a reference, this is just an opinion, which doesn't need to be correct.

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If it's an essential link, why can it be omitted? –  Andrew Leach Jun 27 '13 at 20:30

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