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For example:

How to makes this?

Why do I use the to after how?

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closed as not a real question by FumbleFingers, Daniel, Mitch, RegDwigнt Mar 21 '12 at 21:12

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What is your native tongue? I am certain that it, too, uses the infinitive in that position. – RegDwigнt Mar 21 '12 at 18:46
General Reference. Not to mention How to makes this is a clause, not a standalone sentence, and in any feasible context it would be make, not makes. But we don't have any context. – FumbleFingers Mar 21 '12 at 18:51
Uhm why is this being closed as General Reference? I fail to understand what standard resource would explain this. – Alenanno Mar 21 '12 at 20:21
Gen-ref indeed doesn't quite fit the bill, mostly because the question is vague at best, making it hard to point the OP to the place where it's answered best. So clarification is in order first. Is there any reason we should not use the "to" there? What is it? You must make a stronger case. – RegDwigнt Mar 21 '12 at 21:20

To make is a single unit called a full infinitive verb, of which the to is a necessary part.

How to makes this? is incorrect, since the make is indiscriminately pluralized (infinitives cannot be plural), and the question is a fragment.

You need more context for the sentence to be grammatical, and keep the infinitive verb in its singular form:

I don't know how to make this.

To keep it a question, you'll need to drop the infinitive (and the to) altogether:

How can I make this?

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"Make" is not pluralized there. It's a third person singular. Given the OP username, I'm 99% sure of this. – Alenanno Mar 21 '12 at 18:50

Since I think your mother tongue is Italian, I expect your example sentence to be a calque of the equivalent italian expression, which uses the third person singular: "Come si fa questo?"

"Fa" is the third person singular of the verb "Fare" (to do/make). And that's why you say "makes".

I didn't find any references about why in English you'd require that, but keep in mind that not all languages work the same way, this is as true as it is obvious. So you can't just transpose a sentence from a language to another one using the exact same structure. Sometimes it works, yes, but the translation is almost never 1:1.

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Stop cheating, rephrase come si fa as come fare, and there you've got yourself the exact same structure in Italian as in English. "How" + infinitive. A 1:1 correspondence. – RegDwigнt Mar 21 '12 at 21:05
@RegDwightѬſ道 If I'm asking someone "How to make this?", I'd say "Come si fa?" and "Come fare questo?" which sounds rather non-native. "Come fare" sounds like a good title, but I wouldn't use it in a conversation in that situation. I'm not cheating, and no 1:1 correspondence for you. :P – Alenanno Mar 21 '12 at 21:12

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