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I wonder if I could omit the second 'visit' in such sentence:

You have to visit all the places, which she wants to (visit)

Would it be correct? Thanks in advance :)

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  • 1
    Deletions are common, especially in spoken English, and come in many flavours. From the internet, a similar example is 'there's never enough time to do all the things that you want to and barely enough ...'. Certainly 'I've seen everything I want to' is idiomatic. In these examples, the base form is deleted from the to-infinitive following the first use of the verb. 'You have to visit all the places that she wants to' shouldn't cause too many worries. The comma needs to be dropped, though. Apr 5 '16 at 22:45
  • Note that eliding words like this is a grammatical technique called ellipsis (Merriam-Webster). There are several "types" of ellipsis, some of which are debated quite heavily as to their usefulness. Apr 5 '16 at 22:48
  • @JohnClifford This type is most often called verb phrase ellipsis ("VP ellipsis"), although it's also been called post-auxiliary ellipsis ("PAE"), which is a nice term as long as you consider the infinitive marker to a kind of defective auxiliary.
    – user28567
    Apr 6 '16 at 6:53
  • @snailboat Indeed. Nice link. I included that it my answer, but I hadn't seen your comment! Apr 7 '16 at 19:28
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The verb phrase occurring after the infinitival word to can be deleted (more technically, elided) when it is recoverable from the context:

  • A: Are you going to come to the beach with us?
  • B: I want to. [come to the beach with you]

Notice that we cannot delete the material after the verb want on its own:

  • A: Are you going to come to the beach with us?
  • B: *I want. [to come to the beach with you] (ungrammatical)

Interestingly, some grammarians cite this as evidence that the word to is a non-finite auxiliary verb. Auxiliary verbs behave in this way in English:

  • A: Are you going to come to the beach with us?
  • B: I could. [come to the beach with you]

The Original Poster's example

The Original Poster can delete the verb phrase visit after the infinitival word to as it is easily recoverable from the context:

You have to visit all the places, which she wants to. [visit]

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  • In your example, can B say If you want. or If you want me to. or both?
    – JK2
    Apr 7 '16 at 13:21
  • @JK2 Interestingly they can say both, if they use the if there (or *when). This is something I'm looking at in my PhD, incidentally. Notice that you can't say "Although I want". Weird isn't it ... Apr 7 '16 at 13:25
  • Interesting but weird it is.
    – JK2
    Apr 7 '16 at 13:56

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