3

[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 me know what he said.

Bare infinitival has the meaning of ‘wholeness’ in [i] - I saw the whole event of her cleaning the room, not a segment of it as in ‘I saw her cleaning the room.' (CGEL, p.1237)

It now in [ii] has the meaning of ‘actual’ (direct) help - he actually did some of the work, whereas he ‘enabled me to do it myself' in ‘He helped me to do the work.’ (CGEL, p.1244)

About [iii], it's not easy to find out what their, the bare infinitivals', implications are. They seem to have the wholeness as in [i], but not connected with the actuality in [ii]. Are the bare infinitivals intending to say their actions are simultaneous with the main verbs’ activities, without delay – for ‘to’ is likely to project into the future?

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    These are not "bare infinitivals". These are infinitive object complements where the usual complementizer to has been deleted. Deletion of to is required for modals, sense verbs, causative make, and let; it's optional for help. It's the peculiarities of the matrix verbs (respectively, see, help, make, and let) that you're perceiving, and attributing incorrectly to "bare infinitivals". This is not Latin. – John Lawler Aug 18 '14 at 1:21
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    Listenever, you'll probably be interested in the info in the 2002 CGEL pages 159-62. It covers "7. Temporal interpretation of constructions without primary tense", and you'll especially be interested in the subsection "The catenative construction". – F.E. Aug 18 '14 at 3:15
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    @F.E. Thank you very much. The infinitives don’t decide their time position alone. On the contrary they’re subjected to be influenced by the catenative verbs. And the two organically make temporal interpretations, is what you’re trying to say. Isn’t it? – Listenever Aug 18 '14 at 4:40
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    Listenever, yes, that's basically it: what you said, plus the actual sentence and the context that it is used in, that is what will decide the time relationship stuff. :) – F.E. Aug 18 '14 at 5:14
  • Where is the infinitival phrase? As Prof Lawler said. – Kris Aug 18 '14 at 5:17
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The term is infinitive, bare infinitve, to-infintive. I have never seen the term infinitival. And as to your verb constructions, it depends on what you want to say.

1 I heard the man singing in the street.

That is: The man was singing in the street. + I heard him.

2 I heard a man sing in the street.

That is: A man sang in the street. + I heard him.

You can put stress on the action in progress as in 1 or on the fact as in 2.

To help is a different case. The normal construction is to help to do/ to help someone to do (do stands for any infinitive you want to use). Nowadays to help is seen as something similar to a modal verb and "to" is often dropped.

1

Bare infinitive is nothing but just an infinitive without to.

Ex: 1. He made me laugh. 2. It might be a good idea. 3. He can't sing.

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