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


Because it's an exception. An infinitive loses its to when it follows certain verbs like let, hear, feel, watch and some others.

  • Is there a name for this class of verbs? – user1359 Oct 9 '15 at 15:04
  • 1
    @user1359 Sometimes they are called "verbs of perception". At least verbs like see, hear, watch, feel, smell, notice and some others. Check out this link: grammaring.com/… – A.P. Oct 9 '15 at 16:59

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