Karim admitted ..................... the plate and said he was sorry.
a) breaking            b) to break                  c) to breaking                d) break

This sentence is taken from a mock exam in the workbook of 3rd year secondary, Egypt. (practice test 5 B)

The answer in the book is "breaking" but I see no reason for not using both "breaking" and "to breaking". 

Regards

Original Post

Hi, Mr President,

Mr President posted:

Karim admitted ..................... the plate and said he was sorry.
a) breaking            b) to break                  c) to breaking                d) break

This sentence is taken from a mock exam in the workbook of 3rd year secondary, Egypt. (practice test 5 B)

The answer in the book is "breaking" but I see no reason for not using both "breaking" and "to breaking". 

Regards

Strictly speaking, both answers 'breaking' and 'to breaking' are grammatically correct. In fact, I have seen more than one example like yours in different exams and the model answer always uses the '-ing form' without 'to'. There are two points I want to refer to here: 

1. 'Admit + v.ing' has two meanings. It could mean'allow (sth)' or 'confess / acknowledge'. 'Admit to + v.ing' has to do with 'confess / acknowledge', not 'permit or allow'.

2. Folwer says: The phrase admit to ( — confess to, acknowledge) is a relatively recent addition to the language: Senior Ministry of Defence officials yesterday admitted to a catalogue of errors —Times, 1989. The OED's earliest example is one of 1936.

Swan and others have listed 'admit' among the verbs followed by 'v.ing', but  mentioned nothing about 'admit + to + v.ing'. The books we teach always use 'admit + v.ing', that's why it is always the model answer in the exam although 'admit to + v.ing' is also grammatically correct. 

 

Last edited by ahmed_btm
 

Swan and others have listed 'admit' among the verbs followed by 'v.ing', but  mentioned nothing about 'admit + to + v.ing'. The books we teach always use 'admit + v.ing', that's why it is always the model answer in the exam although 'admit to + v.ing' is also grammatically correct. 

 

I still remember David's words:

"You will NOT find everything in anything."

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Greetings, everybody,

I agree with your answer, Ahmed_btm, though I can't say I find the "model answer" to be the most natural here. I would not naturally say, "He admitted breaking the plate."

I would naturally say, "He admitted to breaking the plate." Thus, if I had to choose a "model answer" to the question among the listed choices, I'd choose (c). If I used V-ing immediately after "admitted," I would use the perfective:

(e) Karim admitted having broken the plate and said he was sorry.

That would be a far better model answer, but it is not even listed as an option on your test. If you Google "admitted breaking" versus "admitted having broken," you'll see that the latter is much more common. Here's another GREAT option:

(f) Karim admitted (that) he had broken the plate and said he was sorry.

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