"Only through accurately understanding our feelings can we learn to free ourselves from negative emotions, which provides more creative energy, as well as the opportunity for limitless personal growth, and ultimately, [connect/connects] us to our higher selves."

Which one is correct?? Connect or connects? I think both are OK. "can we learn to ~~ + (can we) connect us ~~" or "which provides more creative energy ~~ + (which) connects us ~~"

How do you think about this??

  • "Can we learn ... to connect us to our higher selves" doesn't sound right. It should be "can we learn ... to connect ourselves to our higher selves." And "can we connect us to our higher selves" is wrong for the same reason. Nov 29, 2019 at 0:12
  • I think it's the other way around. "Connect us to our higher selves" returns 1,930 matches on Google, whereas "connect ourselves to our higher selves" only returns 208 matches. If you wash/bathe/improve yourself, it's reflexive, so you would be right to use "myself" instead of "me," but when something else is connecting you to your higher self, it's no longer reflexive. You're not doing it to yourself, this other thing (in this case the understanding of our feelings) is doing the connecting, so I would go with "...connecting us to our higher selves." Nov 29, 2019 at 1:41
  • 'connects' seems to be correct matching with the singular subject "accurately understanding..."
    – Ram Pillai
    Nov 29, 2019 at 5:05
  • @PeterShor So there is no way to drop the 'can we'? I thought if some phrases are repeated, then you can drop it the second time. "Only by this key can we open the door and close the door." like this?
    – DH K
    Nov 30, 2019 at 2:02
  • You normally could drop "can we" if it's used a second time. But in this sentence, if you assume "can we" was dropped, there's a lack of parallelism: "can we learn to free ourselves ... and connect us ..." To have a parallel construction, it really should be "can we learn to free ourselves ... and connect ourselves ..." Nov 30, 2019 at 2:06


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