Which one from the following two variants is the correct one?

  • How to make this thing to work...?

  • How to make this thing work...?

I'm not an English speaker, but for me, the first variant sounds good and I used it until today. However, just today I observed that the second variant is used in many places on the internet.

  • 2
    Make is one of a select few verbs that can take a bare infinitive (an infinitive without to). Make X to work isn't strictly ungrammatical, but you are far more likely to hear make X work. Another similar verb is help, which is commonly used as both help X do Y and help X to do Y, with a slight difference in meaning.
    – Anonym
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 20:57

1 Answer 1


The second variant is correct in the given example.

Having said that, as is the case with any grammatical construction, there are cases where the same word order would require the first variant, such as "How to teach this child to work...?"

I would also note that your examples have no subject. Normally you would ask something more like, "How do I/you make this thing work?"

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