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Hello all,

My mind is all messed up again. I seem to have lost the ability to make sentences that express consequence and / or purpose. Consider the following two sentences which I wrote myself:

Tomorrow, I will return to the scene of the crime (and / to) go over it with a fine toothcomb.

Some employees will do anything to get a sick leave - even hit themselves in the face (and / to / so as to) break their noses.

Could someone please help me complete these sentences and explain the logic behind it all? Are all the options above correct?
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My try:

Tomorrow, I will return to the scene of the crime (and / to) go over it with a fine toothcomb. If you use "and", this will mean that you will surely return to the scene of crime and go over it witha five toothcomb but this may not be the only action you will do. Because your only purpose is not to go over it with a fine toothcomb, you may do something else too. On the other hand, if you use "to", this will mean that you will just return there to go over it with a fine toothcomb.

I make the same comment for the second sentence too.
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Hi,

For some reason, this simple problem continues to puzzle me. It's been rattling around in my head for months now. Here's another example that I find problematic. I can't decide which structure to use. Let's imagine the following situation: a waiter in a hotel is asked by the maitre d' to clear the tables. Which of the following sentences should the waiter's response be? "As soon as the guests have departed..."

a) "(...) I will go and clear the tables."

b) "(...) I will go clear the tables."

c) "(...) I will go to clear the tables."

This is just a random example, but it's really confusing me. All three options sound fitting to me, particularly the first and second ones.

You are really asking about the methods and rhythms of natural everyday speech.For a start, the waiter will not repeat the phrase 'clear the tables'. He will shorten it to something like 'do it' or 'clear them.' Instead of 'When the guests have departed', he'll also say 'When they've gone '.

a) "(...) I will go and do it." We often speak this way, simply stringing our thoughts together with 'and'.

b) "(...) I will go do it." I'd say this is somewhat regional, ie it's said more in some areas than in others. It's generally, but not always, seen as a bit less than standard, in my opinion.

c) "(...) I will go to do it." This more careful and precise manner of speaking is less typical of common, everyday speech.

Best wishes, Clive
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Comments  
For some reason, this simple problem continues to puzzle me. It's been rattling around in my head for months now. Here's another example that I find problematic. I can't decide which structure to use. Let's imagine the following situation: a waiter in a hotel is asked by the maitre d' to clear the tables. Which of the following sentences should the waiter's response be? "As soon as the guests have departed..."

a) "(...) I will go and clear the tables."

b) "(...) I will go clear the tables."

c) "(...) I will go to clear the tables."

This is just a random example, but it's really confusing me. All three options sound fitting to me, particularly the first and second ones.
 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
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