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46
votes
10answers
146k views

What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb “help”: with or without “to”?

What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb "help": with or without "to"? For example: Please, help me to understand this. or: Please, help me understand this.
18
votes
3answers
7k views

“All you have to do is read” vs. “All you have to do is to read”

I was speaking to an English learner and said, “All you have to do is read a lot.” And they thought that sentence wasn’t grammatically correct because I dropped the word to between is and read. They ...
14
votes
5answers
20k views

“need to do” vs “need do”

Consider: I need to do this. I need do this. My English grammar knowledge tells me that "need" doesn't have the same status as the modal verbs "may", "can", "should" and what not. Hence the second ...
9
votes
3answers
870 views

Is it appropriate to omit “to” after “ought”?

Is it appropriate to omit to after ought? I ought to be disciplined for my insolence. Vs. I ought be disciplined for my insolence. Is it okay to omit the to?
8
votes
2answers
653 views

Can the verb “tend” be followed by a bare infinitive (“tend be” v.s. “tend to be”)?

I thought tend (used to imply “regularly or frequently behaving in a particular way or having a certain characteristic – Oxford’s def; 1.1) always has to be used with the to-infinitive form of verbs. ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I always insert “and” between two verbs in imperative mode?

As far as I understand, the word and is usually inserted between two verbs used in imperative mood in English. For example, “Go and make me a drink.” How obligatory is this? Can I claim that it is ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Omitting the last “to” in “All {I need to / have to / must} do is (to?) do something” [duplicate]

I remember I learned a structure like the one that this post’s title mentions: All I {need to do | have to do | must do} is do something. But is it correct to use "to do something" after the "...
5
votes
4answers
7k views

What is an “infinitive”?

I've heard that a verb usually follows the 'infinitive' but how does one define an 'infinitive'?
5
votes
2answers
333 views

Why doesn't the second verb agree with the subject of that verb?

In "We watched Obama speak," what is the technical reason for it not being "We watched Obama spoke"?
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Subject + “have had” + bare infinitive … ever correct?

In writing an email today I came up with the following sentence: "We have had two other ladies express an interest in the room." I'm a native English-English speaker and this felt fine to me. My ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Usage of infinitives in this sentence

In my academics I learned that we use infinitives (to + verb 1st form). So I was surprised when someone told me this sentence is incorrect. I am not able to figure it out why this sentence is ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

“To enable him to escape” vs. “to enable him escape”

I have been coming across this kind of sentence more and more: She gave him a key to enable him to escape capture. She gave him a key to enable him escape capture. Which sentence is correct? ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

Repeating “to” and “will” in enumerations of verbs

Should I use the second "will" in constructions like this one: "it will definitely help you and will make the text more readable" And should I write "to" before every infinitive in enumeration, or ...
4
votes
1answer
855 views

Why do these verbs take bare infinitives?

[a] It makes the tree grow. [b] I never heard him speak. I’m wondering why causative and sense verbs (make, hear) license bare infinitives for their complement, instead of taking to infinitives? ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Non-finite clause complementation of complex transitive verbs

This question has been bothering me for a while. It came up when I was reading Chapter 16 of "A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language." How to explain the grammatical structure of the ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there other verbs that work like “dare” and “need”? [duplicate]

The verbs dare and need do not require auxiliaries when used in the interrogative; for example, “need I?” is as acceptable as “do I need?” Excluding the auxiliaries themselves (like be, do, have), ...
3
votes
1answer
385 views

Watch the sun go down [duplicate]

In the sentence: I'd like to watch the sun go down why there is no "to"? Why not: I'd like to watch the sun to go down
3
votes
1answer
461 views

Can we use a bare infinitive after the copula freely?

But all he'd tried to do (as he shouted at Uncle Vernon through the locked door of his cupboard) was jump behind the big trash cans outside the kitchen doors. Harry supposed that the wind must ...
3
votes
10answers
1k views

Is this grammatical construction an imperative for the third person?

Is the construction 'Let + subject + verb' considered as an order/imperative for the third person: Let every man count his days when it is intended to mean 'must'/'is ordered to'?
3
votes
2answers
326 views

meaning of bare infinitivals

[i] I saw her clean the room. [ii] He helped me do the work. [iii] She made me clean the room.         What makes you think so?         Let ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

How does the word “to” function with an infinitive?

I've gone through all the questions and answers on infinities and although they explain whether or not an infinitive should be marked or bare with certain words, nowhere can I find an explanation as ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

Why can't I use the word 'to' after the verb 'helped'?

I know it is incorrect to say, "They helped to her" and that it should be, "They helped her", but why is the word "to" not needed? And yet the word to is in this sentence: "They helped to get her free....
2
votes
1answer
527 views

Is it customary or grammatical to drop ‘to’ in “I’m not going to go look for it”?

There was a scene a thirty-something wife refuses to go looking for the wedding ring her husband lost in a courtyard when she was asked by her husband over the phone, in the fiction titled “The Lost ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

“I've got more to do than wait” or “I've got more to do than **to** wait”? [duplicate]

I did some reading in other places online about using the bare infinitive after the word "than," and while in a lot of cases it seems correct, I'm having a hard time telling whether it's correct in ...
2
votes
2answers
438 views

Why do 'get' and 'have' work similarly in 'get/have sth done" but differently in 'get sb to do sth' and 'have sb do sth'

Why do 'get' and 'have' work similarly in I got/had my car repaired. but differently – that is are not complemented in the same way although they still mean the same – in I got someone to ...
1
vote
2answers
301 views

use of the verb “make” [closed]

The following is part of a blog post in The Huffington Post: In the perfect world we would all be morning people. We would wake up calm, refreshed and ready to tackle the day. But this isn’t a ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

the best thing to do is (to) concentrate on

The best thing to do is to concentrate on something else. I've known in the sentence like that 'to' should be omitted. So, I wonder if the sentence is grammatical. *The source of the information ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Bare infinitive and gerund participle

I saw him kick the stone. According to my reference book this sentence is grammatically correct even though the verb 'kick' is in present tense while the action has already happened. If I write ...
1
vote
1answer
266 views

“to + verb” at the beginning of each bullet point vs. single “to” + multiple verbs

With regard to bullet points stating objectives using verbs, is it better to repeat "to" at the beginning of each of them, or to introduce bare infinitives with a single shared "to"? In the Land of ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

“Rather than doing” vs. “rather than do”

I can't do anything rather than waiting. I can't do anything rather than wait. Which one is correct and why?
1
vote
1answer
552 views

“Help” as a Non-Modal verb

Please read the following sentence: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is planning his retirement in the next nine months from the software giant he helped build. Would you consider "helped" a Non-...
1
vote
2answers
169 views

Is this an it-cleft with bare infinitive?

   "Actually, we didn't get lost," the tall one says. "We ran away."    "Not running away so much as just stumbling onto this spot and deciding to stay put," the brawny one ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

“It seem” vs “It seems”

Today I came across this NY Times' article, where it's written: Talking to people at newspapers makes it seem as if the future of comments is all social log-ins and filtering algorithms. But I ...
1
vote
2answers
976 views

”We're looking forward to helping you find X” vs “We look forward to help you find X” etc

I’m trying to link the following items into a single sentence: we look forward to help you find X So for example, here are some ways I was thinking of doing that: We look forward to help you ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

Bare infinitive after “can see”/ “can hear” [duplicate]

After can see/hear, can the bare infinitive be used? e.g., I could see John get on the bus. We can say "I could see John getting on the bus," but is it possible to say "I could see John ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

When do we use subjunctive after “unless”?

In this sentence: The body will not be kept comfortable unless the air be maintained at a temperature higher than necessary. Why did the author use "be maintained"? When do we use subjunctive ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

'watch her run' vs 'watch her running' [duplicate]

QUESTION 1 I'm trying to figure out the seemingly subtle difference(s) between a sentence modified by a bare infinitive and one modified by a participle phrase. What do you get out of these: I ...
1
vote
0answers
101 views

Is it correct to say “John helps you talk with people”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb "help": with or without "to"? Sorry if this is a stupid question, but English is not my first language. For me it ...
0
votes
3answers
97 views

bare infinitive

Today I come across this sentence: I recommend having customer service agents end their emails a variety of ways. Can you explain why to is not added before end? Why is having used before an ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Which of the following sentences is/are incorrect? (“Permit” vs. “allow” vs. “let”)

Which of the following sentences is/are incorrect? Why? The visa permits you to study for two months. My father would never allow me to study English Let me to go. You're hurting me. This is ...
0
votes
1answer
596 views

“Looking to + infinitive” vs “Looking to + gerund” [closed]

Which is the correct expression, looking to build or looking to building? Whether you are looking to build. . . . or Whether you are looking to building. . . .
0
votes
2answers
84 views

Make something “have” or make something “to have”?

I am looking at a sentence in my thesis, and I am not sure about the usage of "make". Should I say In addition, as a result of the xxx principal, the xxx product operation in (1) makes the ...
0
votes
2answers
165 views

What parents enjoy is playing/play? [closed]

I have a question; is it better to say: What parents enjoy doing is playing with their children. or: What parents enjoy is playing with their children. or: What parents enjoy is play ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

To use ‘to’ or not is the question ;) [duplicate]

I believe the grammatically correct way is to omit the to before the verb (find in this case). Can someone confirm? What you have to do instead is find a way to redefine the problem ... I ask ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

to know or know

One of my English friends has written to me: A teacher can receive no greater gift than to know he has had a positive influence on his students. Here is my question: Why has he written to know ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

“See these guys [infinitive]” vs. “see these guys [present participle]” [duplicate]

Which is correct: I am excited to see these guys growing up. or I am excited to see these guys grow up. Having hard time figuring out how to use gerunds in a sentence.
0
votes
1answer
33 views

“I heard my life be told” vs. “I heard my life being told” (object+bare infinitive complementation) [closed]

You may have heard A Song They Won't Be Playing On The Radio by Molly Nilsson. I doubt this song will ever be considered the pinnacle of the English poetry, but it makes use of a passive simple (...
0
votes
1answer
744 views

“but, except, besides”?

When learning the infinitive construction, my teacher told us that if “but, except, besides” serves as a preposition and before them there exists “do” or its other forms (did, does), “but, except, ...
0
votes
1answer
128 views

What to use?: Infinitive, bare infinitive or gerund as a complement after an expression [duplicate]

I came across some sentences and I was wondering which word is correct: 'train,' 'to train' or 'training'? What we should do is train our workers to become more efficient. All I we do is train our ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Be held Vs To be held [duplicate]

He proposed that this meeting to be held annually instead of monthly. Should to be omitted or kept?