I have a sentence:

In order to quickly search for relevant information among them, it is necessary to structure and to categorize them.

Would you use the infinitives twice (to structure and to categorize)?

  • 2
    Would I? I might. Is that really the question? If you're asking whether it is grammatical, meaningful, and common to use the infinitives twice, the answer is yes.
    – Drew
    Apr 30, 2017 at 13:30
  • I find the dual use to be more clear, per @Drew's comment. I think the questioner is concerned that one or the other construction may be improper.
    – DukeZhou
    Jun 29, 2017 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


In Mathematics, this is the law of distribution.


Following this, we can write:

In order to quickly search for relevant information among them, it is necessary to (structure and categorize) them.

  • 1
    In linguistics, this is called the rule of Conjunction Reduction: repeated material in successive conjoined constituents may be deleted, optionally. So you can, but you don't have to, leave out repeated infinitive to complementizers, just as you can leave out tensed-clause complementizers like that, as in I know that he left, and (that) he took it with him. Apr 30, 2017 at 14:48
  • @JohnLawler; here's Wikipedia's take on it:Conjunction reduction is an ellipsis mechanism that takes non-constituent conjuncts to be complete phrases or clauses at some deep level of syntax. These complete phrases or clauses are then reduced down to their surface appearance by the conjunction reduction mechanism. The traditional analysis of the phenomenon of right node raising assumed that in cases of non-constituent conjuncts, a shared string to the right of the conjuncts is raised out of VP in such a manner that the material in the conjuncts ends up as constituents.
    – JMP
    Apr 30, 2017 at 15:51
  • 1
    The plausibility of these mechanisms is NOT widely accepted, but rather one can argue that they are ad hoc attempts to solve a problem that plagues theories that take the constituent to be the fundamental unit of syntactic analysis.
    – JMP
    Apr 30, 2017 at 15:51
  • 1
    A fundamental unit; there are of course others. And "plausibility" is a moot concept when relating sentences that actually occur with sentences that don't. Either they're semantically equivalent or they're not, and if they are they need to be accounted. Not "accounted for" -- explanations are not always available -- but at least accounted and not discarded. Apr 30, 2017 at 16:34

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