0

For example, if I were writing the menu options for a restaurant, how would I write something like this?

Restaurant ABC offers many different dishes. From pizza, to burgers, to shakes, to fries, to hotdogs, to sodas, and more.

Is that the correct grammar? It seems like a lot of "to"'s.

4
  • But the repetitive "to X, to Y, to Z..." is a reasonably acceptable usage when writing in a slightly artistic style, especially if the words achieve a nice rhythm.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 14, 2019 at 3:23
  • Net-net: There is nothing wrong with it, as used above. The style can be overused, or used inappropriately, however.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 14, 2019 at 12:07
  • 2
    It would be better to say from pizza to burgers, shakes, fries, hotdogs, sodas, and more. Jul 5, 2021 at 13:10
  • related: english.stackexchange.com/q/299547
    – djvg
    Mar 25 at 11:00

3 Answers 3

1

The above form is used with a single from and a single to, not multiples or whole lists.

Restaurant ABC offers many different dishes, from pizzas to burgers.

The range is supposed to extend from pizza all the way to burgers. In other words, every thing else is supposed to be included in between.

When the list is not homogeneous, separate sentences or clauses may be used for each type:

Restaurant ABC offers many different dishes. From pizza to burgers; from sodas to shakes.

HTH.

7
  • 2
    The usage with multiple "to" is common (although not easy to Google). Do you have any references for the claim that it is incorrect?
    – Stuart F
    Oct 14, 2019 at 11:26
  • 1
    I see no reason to use 'from... to' when simply giving a list of items. It's only appropriate with the two extremes of a range, e.g. 'from a sandwich to a three-course meal'. Oct 14, 2019 at 16:26
  • @KateBunting What we have here is not "simply a list;" my answer includes the case of ranges (not necessarily extreme at all).
    – Kris
    Oct 16, 2019 at 15:06
  • I meant that the OP's menu could just as well be written as a list - 'Pizza, burgers, fries, hotdogs... and more'. Saying 'from pizza to burgers' seems odd to me, as though they were supposed to be at opposite ends of a gamut of size, price or some other quality. Oct 16, 2019 at 15:49
  • 4
    "Restaurant ABC offers many different dishes, including pizzas, burgers, shakes, fries, hotdogs, sodas, and more."
    – Joachim
    Nov 13, 2019 at 12:05
1

The 'from...to' expression is often wrongly used. This construction should properly be used when two extremes of a range are thought of, as in:

“From soup to nuts” makes sense because soup was the traditional first course in a formal meal, nuts the last. Similarly “from A to Z” makes sense because these are the first and last letters of the alphabet.

But this construction which identifies the extremes of a spectrum or range is often improperly used when no such extremes are being identified, as in “She tried everything from penicillin to sulfa drugs.” These are not extremes, just examples of different sorts of drugs.

(The Website of Prof. Paul Brians)

A range cannot have more than two extremes. Often when people are tempted to use “from . . . to” they would be better off using a different expression, as, for example, in the OP's sentence: “Restaurant ABC offers many different dishes including pizza, burgers, shakes, fries, hotdogs, sodas, and more.

0

See the edit below for: From pizza, to burgers, to shakes, to fries, to hotdogs, to sodas, and more.

Elegant ordering with from and to:

From pizza, burgers, shakes, fries and hotdogs to sodas and more.

The range is all the food items to drinks.

And I would not use an Oxford comma in this case.

From cats, dogs and birds to small reptiles and snakes.

From hot blooded to cold blooded. Just another example.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.