I believe the grammatically correct way is to omit the to before the verb (find in this case). Can someone confirm?

What you have to do instead is find a way to redefine the problem ...

I ask this because I have also seen constructions like

What you have to do instead is to find a way to redefine the problem ...

Are both correct?

  • Check "what you have to do is find" against "what you have to do is to find" using Google searches. Make sure that most of the early results are distinct and relevant. What do the results suggest? – Edwin Ashworth Nov 30 '13 at 23:01
  • Neither of your sentences contains even a single preposition. Both contain none at all. – tchrist Dec 1 '13 at 0:29
  • This point seem to have already been answered on ELU. Please check previous posts. – Kris Dec 1 '13 at 7:27
  • @tchrist What is the difference? And, is the "both ... none" a novel construction? – Kris Dec 1 '13 at 7:28
  • @Noah answered this beautifully in english.stackexchange.com/questions/122277/… and also, I got to know this wonderful tool from Google -- Google Ngram Viewer! – Kedar Mhaswade Dec 1 '13 at 14:06

Yes, I can confirm that it’s grammatical to omit to. In fact, I find the sentence mildly degraded when to is included.

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"To" can be used as an adverb. In this case, "to" is perfectly fine. You can also remove "to" without any problems.

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