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Hi,

There are two "sub-entries" for admit (to) doing something in my longman

First sub-entry:
admit doing something, is followed by the example:
XYZ admitted causing death by reckless driving

Second sub-entry:
admit to doing something, is followed by the example:
A quarter of all workers admit to taking time off when they are not ill

Could you please comment on this "oddity"?

mus-te
Comments  
At first blush it seems as if we could remove the "to" from the second one and place it in the first one without disturbing the meanings of either.

The only significant difference I see is that the first one (probably) describes a single occurrence by a single individual, while the second one describes multiple occurrences (or habitual behavior) by each of many individuals.

So I guess we admit doing one particular dirty deed, and we admit to habitually doing something reprehensible.

I'm sure I'm missing something here.

- A.
Thank you Avangi.
I hope other EnglishForward teachers give their views too.
Btw, I notice multiple replies have become rather rare ... unless the subject is "why be anonymous" :-)
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I think it is worth mentioning that "admit doing something" can also mean "allow something", so is is often better to include the "to" for the sake of clarity.
>> ....can also mean "allow something"
I see. Thanks a lot!
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Thanks for bringing that up, ozzourti. For some reason I failed to associate that with the two forms originally presented.

<< XYZ admitted causing death by reckless driving>>

Do you feel that this example could possibly be interpreted in this way? (as "allowing" ?)

I would think perhaps, "The court admitted XYZ's heart attack as a possible defense."

Regards, - A.
AvangiDo you feel that this example could possibly be interpreted in this way? (as "allowing" ?)
No, I don't. Theoretically it could but in reality logic takes priority over what is possible in theory. I think in most cases the intended meaning can be easily inferred from the surrounding context.

Another interesting thing that springs to mind is that you usually admit to a mistake or something you wish you hadn't done. But you can also "admit something" meaning that you accept or start to appreciate it:

He finally admitted the importance of true friendship.