This may be more of a stylistic question than anything else, but I'm hoping for some general rules about using the word 'to' in a sentence and when it might be used too many times.

For example, I'm not sure there's anything wrong with the following sentence from a grammar / structure standpoint:

We are pleased to update you with our progress and to propose a new idea to speed up our product launch into the market to generate revenue.

I find this sentence irritating but I'm not sure exactly why outside of just "wordiness" - but that's normally a good marker (for me) that there's a mistake.

So my question is three part:

  1. Is the above sentence grammatically sound but just in need of word-crafting?
  2. What is it about the sentence that I'm finding troublesome?
  3. Are there any rules that one can remember to identify and avoid this mistake, if it is in fact a mistake?

Thanks in advance and best.

  • 2
    Even if we throw out all the preceding text, [We want] to speed up our product launch into the market to generate revenue sounds pretty clumsy to me. It's also semantically questionable in context. Who exactly will be receiving the generated revenue? More crucially, who will be paying? Your text looks like a flyer to actual/potential customers, who might not particularly want to be told how pleased you are that you've thought of new and better ways of getting their money. Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 16:34
  • @FumbleFingers - that's an excellent point. Taken "as is" without all of the implied language and the sentence is actually semantically problematic.
    – wahwahwah
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 16:54

1 Answer 1

  1. Grammatically sound? Yes.
  2. What's troublesome? Just a bit ungainly.
  3. No actual mistakes.

Suggested rewording [words in square brackets are superfluous]:

"We are pleased to update you on our progress**,** and also propose an [new] idea that would speed up our product launch [into the market] and generate revenue.

  • Add comma after "progress" to break up the long sentence.
  • Does "new" add anything to "idea"?
  • Where would you launch the product if not "into the market"?
  • Could change "speed up" to "accelerate"
  • Thank you for your feedback and will likely take you up on the rewording suggestions. If you look at FumbleFingers comment - I suspect it's correct and that semantics is actually a problem or maybe even a "mistake." I would greatly appreciate your feedback on that point.
    – wahwahwah
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 16:58
  • 1
    You could write "product launch in order to generate revenue". Beyond that, I agree with FF's comments, but without knowing who you are addressing the message to - whether investors or customers - nor what your 'new idea' is, I don't feel I can comment further.
    – TrevorD
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 17:09
  • Great answer, upvoted. But how does it sound weird to say " We are pleased to update you with our progress ". I saw no problem there and felt nothing about how it sounds. Could you explain the subtle difference between " with our progress " vs " on our progress " ?
    – hina10531
    Commented May 11, 2018 at 8:51
  • Looking at the definition of "with" (British Eng.) at dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/with, in very general terms "with" generally implies 'togetherness': that two (or more) things are brought or used ot happening together. But in the sentence in question, there is no 'togetherness': information is being passed from - or transferred from - one person/company to another person/company. I agree that 'with' could be used in the sentence in question, but to my British ears it doesn't sound quite right. Hope that helps.
    – TrevorD
    Commented May 12, 2018 at 13:03

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