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What you get from a story depends on which elements the author selects to include in the narrative.

What you get from a story depends on which elements the author chooses to include in the narrative.

I know instinctively that the second option sounds better than the first, but I'm not entirely sure that the first option is ungrammatical. Can you use "select" with the infinitival verb? If not in this context, is there a grammatical context where "select to" can be used?

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    You could read it as 'selects for the purpose of including them'. – Kate Bunting Jan 14 at 16:50
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    Yes, select doesn't normally take an infinitive complement, but non-complement infinitives can often be interpreted as purpose infinitives (cf He stopped smoking vs He stopped to smoke), and in this case, with this verb, a purpose infinitive leads to the same conclusion as a complement would. – John Lawler Jan 14 at 17:00
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The Cambridge English Dictionary, under the headword choose, includes:

choose to do something: B1 to decide to do something:

Katie chose (= decided) to stay away from work that day.

There is no corresponding construction ('select to do something' under the headword select, and I'd be surprised if there were. I think the construction is ungrammatical.

But note that one can elect to do something.

Trivially, as 'select' may be used intransitively, one can contrive the clunky 'You may select from any of the low fat options offered: you may select to comply with your personal dietary requirements.' Here, 'to' = 'in order to / in such a way as to'.

  • +1 for flagging up to elect to [do sth]. – FumbleFingers Jan 14 at 17:44

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