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Hey guys!

I must admit that sometimes I feel completely ignorant in English. Emotion: smile

Do we use "to" in questions such as:

Why to learn this language?
Why to come?
Why to do that?
What to do?
What to say?

etc
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Hi Ruslana

There's a grammatical rule that the plain/bare infinitive is used in rhetorical questions beginning with why followed by a verb. They often resemble exclamations since no reply may be exptected:

Why do it now when we can do it tomorrow?
Why not go there today?

I'm not sure I can think of a situation in which to use "What to do?" naturally as a question but there's no such rule regarding questions beginning with what.

CB
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RuslanaI must admit that sometimes I feel completely ignorant in English.
Join the club! Emotion: smile

Question word* + infinitive is used only as an indirect question. As such, it is a clause turned into a noun phrase.

I didn't know what to do.
The problem was who to blame in a situation like that.
The members of the team were puzzled about how to proceed.

*But not why.
___

When you see examples of the indirect question "unsupported", you are expected to fill in the appropriate sentential stub mentally as the words spoken are not, strictly speaking, grammatically complete:

How to do it?
= The question was how to do it.
Who to turn to for help?
= My first concern at the moment is who to turn to for help.
___

Why to ...? is wrong as an abbreviated form because why to ... is wrong as an indirect question.

CJ
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Comments  
Thanks, CB! What question would sound natural to you instead of "What to do?"
I can think of this, of course:

"I didn't know what to do."
"What to do? You had a zillion options!"

The question is repeated in the above example and that seems natural enough to me. What I meant was that I have never heard anyone ask: What to do?without more context. Maybe it's possible, I don't know. Perhaps someone can think of an example of such usage. Emotion: smile We'll have to wait and see!

CB
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Well, honestly, I didn't mean it to be used without any options. My bad - I had to be more precise.  Emotion: smile
Questions like "What to do?" are not wrong, they are sometimes used, but they are not very "common". That's what I was told, at least. So although they seem acceptable, I prefer to avoid them, and use these structures instead:
What [could/should] [I/you/we] do?

As for "why", I would use it without the "to":
Why go abroad to learn English when you can learn it on the internet?
Why not take advantage of ESL forums?

This is just my personal opinion though. Emotion: smile

EDIT: I have an example of "what to do?", for those who are curious:
http://www.genx40.com/archive/2009/may/groupprojectso

It's the first link that comes up on Google if you search for "so what to do". So what to do with North Corea? It seems to have been posted by Alan McLeod. It sounds like a native speaker's name, at least. It seems he lives in Canada.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
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CalifJimWhy to ...? is wrong as an abbreviated form because why to ... is wrong as an indirect question.
I've been thinking about that for some minutes. It does sound kind of odd to use "why to" as an indirect question now that I've thought about it, but I had never noticed this peculiarity before. Amazing! Emotion: surprise I still have doubts though...

I had a lot of time to do whatever I wanted, but I just didn't know why to do anything in the first place.

So the above example is... unnatural? I wouldn't write it that way, I don't like it much that way, but if I happened to read anything like that I think the "mistake" wouldn't look very conspicuous to me. But of course I am a "learner", hehe.

EDIT: I just googled "why to", and there are far too many of them. So I still have doubts, lol. One example:

http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/15/investing-dollar-cost-averaging-moneybuilder-personal-finance-invest.html
KooyeenSo the above example is... unnatural?
Definitely. To me.
KooyeenI just googled "why to", and there are far too many of them.
True. (Sigh.) Maybe it's just me, but I looked at quite a few of them, and they all sound bizarre to my ear.

CJ
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