My friend is trying to tell me that the use of "to" in the sentence "we may see the price to rise" (meaning "we expect the price to rise" or "we may see the price rise") is correct. I'm fairly certain this is wrong, but I cannot think of a way to definitively explain why. Can anyone help me out here?


3 Answers 3


After some verbs (including "see") followed by an object, we use the "bare infinitive" (without a "to" in front).

  • Your post answers only part of the question. -1) from me. Please see the duplicate questions I linked above and edit your answer. I will cancel my downvote after your edit. Please let me know when it is done.
    – user140086
    Jan 28, 2016 at 3:24

The to-infinitive is often used after an object to express a function that the object serves for the subject, as in:

I have a dog to protect me. (The object's function is to protect the subject)

to express a necessary action that the subject needs from the object:

I need you to finish the report by Friday. (The subject needs the object to finish the report by Friday)

or to express the purpose of a subject's action:

Every night, I give warm milk to him to help him fall asleep. (The purpose of the subject's action is to help the indirect object fall asleep.)

When a subject observed/observes/will observe an object do/doing something, the to-infinitive isn't used.

We saw him hit a home run yesterday.

She hears her neighbours fight every day.

You will feel the medication take effect after an hour.

  • What makes you think your answer is better than those in the linked questions in the comments above? Don't you think the question is too basic for EL&U? What makes you think him is the indirect object in "I read a bedtime story to him"?
    – user140086
    Jan 28, 2016 at 17:32
  • 2
    @Rathony I didn't see anything about the to-infinitive in the linked post and that is essentially what the OP is asking about. I don't really have standards when it comes to helping people.
    – CDM
    Jan 28, 2016 at 17:40
  • You are not answering my questions. The linked questions are all related with the OP's question on why to infinitive is not used and those answers are far more comprehensive than yours. You follow the guidelines. That's the way you help this community. The way you help the OP is to ask the OP to go to ELL. Not answering this basic question which has multiple duplicates.
    – user140086
    Jan 28, 2016 at 17:43
  • 1
    @Rathony The OP may not be able to infer the reason why the to-infinitive is not used from the above linked post. I don't understand the harm in answering a question. Don't you think your time is better spent doing something else besides giving people a hard time?
    – CDM
    Jan 28, 2016 at 17:48
  • Your answer is not correct. And you didn't answer my questions. This answer is far more comprehensive than your answer. I don't see any harm answering a duplicate question. I would have downvoted your answer if I had judged that way. You edited the wrong part. That's not an indirect object.
    – user140086
    Jan 28, 2016 at 17:52

'To rise' is the infinitive form of the word, whereas 'rise' is a conjugated form. The key here is that you conjugate the first infinitive and then leave the second infinitive alone.

So, it goes something like this:

subject + conjugation

We see.

subject + conjugation + direct object

We see the price

subject + conjugation + direct object + conjugation

I see the price rising.

subject + conjugation + direct object + intransitive infinitive

I want the price to rise.

The sentence that you offered as a response:

We expect the price to rise

Invokes the infinitive 'to rise' as an intransitive verb, which does not take a direct object.

I hope that helped!

(To those more knowledgeable than I, please feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken!)

  • 4
    I'm afraid this is wrong from beginning to end. Rise here is an infinitive, but it's missing the introductory word to, so it's called a bare infinitive. When to use which type of infinitive is a matter of idiom. Conjugation involves the various inflections that finite verbs undergo to represent things like tense and number. Infinitives aren't conjugated: the verb is always the plain form, either active (to see) or passive (to be seen). Rising is a present participle, which is not germane to the question. Neither is the transitivity of the verb to rise.
    – deadrat
    Jan 28, 2016 at 2:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.