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I was just reading a News paper. and found this sentence:

Our impatient host could not understand that our security personnel are under so mush pressure in such tense red alert situations. They do their duty and try to protect us so that we can go back home safely to our families. And all we do is to complain and ignore red alerts.

I am not getting this one. Why it could not be as we complain about it and ignore red alerts.

Is there any grammatical mistake while using this: We complain about it and ignore red alerts.

2 Answers 2

0

"all we do is"

equates to

"the only thing we do is"

or simply:

"we only".

The "to" is superfluous.

The sentence could have been written:

"And we only complain and ignore red alerts."

8

Your variation is grammatically correct, but so is the version that appears in the original article. The difference is one of emphasis. The version that appears in the newspaper places a strong focus on the fact that all we do is complain and ignore. This is a much more emphatic and attention-getting way of establishing that we complain rather than appreciate the security personnel.

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  • I'm not sure it is grammatically correct in the context of the sentence. I think you need a phrase with do in it. "All we complain about it and ..." doesn't seem natural. Commented May 16, 2012 at 13:18
  • @JSB:it may be. Commented May 16, 2012 at 13:19
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    All we do is short for All that we do; it's a relative clause. Most of the problems people ask about here come from shortened phrases like this taken out of context. Commented May 16, 2012 at 13:24
  • @MattЭллен, I was assuming that the OP's suggestion is its own sentence, i.e. They do their duty and try to protect us so that we can go back home safely to our families. We complain about it and ignore red alerts. Commented May 16, 2012 at 13:33
  • It's a very common English idiom to say "all we do is X" or "all you do is X" to mean that the person or people are doing X and nothing other than X. Sometimes this is literal but often it is a poetic exagerration. Like, "All you do is sit around and watch TV all day!" Surely the person does SOMETHING else, like eat and sleep and play video games. But the point is probably that he is not doing useful work.
    – Jay
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 14:23

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