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112 votes
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What is the purpose of (-s) in "Don't hurts us"?

Gollum's speech is consistently shown as non-standard. He regularly adds an additional "-es" to already plural words (eg "pocketses"). This is a case of adding "-s" to a verb form that does not need ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
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33 votes
Accepted

Why does "I was happy to do my homework" work, but "I was tired to do my homework" doesn't?

Let's change the main verb to "see". All the following adjectives accept an infinite I was happy to see her I was sorry to see her I was surprised to see her I was disappointed to see her 5a . I ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
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31 votes
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What is going on grammatically in the opening line of One Hundred Years of Solitude?

The verb be followed by a to-infinitive is used in historical narratives to convey that something took place later than the narrative moment. In your example, Many years later, as he faced the firing ...
MetaEd's user avatar
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27 votes
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May I start a sentence with a verb "develop" or do I need to use "to"?

It looks like you're making a bulleted list, so you have some leeway in how you choose to structure it - you're not limited to complete, fully grammatical sentences, you may also choose to structure ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
16 votes

What is the purpose of (-s) in "Don't hurts us"?

It's ungrammatical, but Tolkien knew what he was doing. It's possible that Gollum is purposely trying to sound childlike and pathetic here. Tolkien might also have been trying to represent that ...
Davislor's user avatar
  • 7,537
15 votes

Why does "I was happy to do my homework" work, but "I was tired to do my homework" doesn't?

If I had to guess, it would be that this form "{subject} {verb} {adjective} {infinitive phrase}" does not always work. The sentence you described, "I was happy to help you" will work but replace happy ...
Chris Gong's user avatar
  • 1,271
15 votes

"Wish" in the Passive

“He is wished to be here” is marginally grammatical, but in practise very unlikely. Although he may be cast in the “object” case with an infinitival complement (I wish him to ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
13 votes

Why does "I was happy to do my homework" work, but "I was tired to do my homework" doesn't?

I’m afraid the answer is ultimately a very disappointing “because it is”. There are various types of adjectives, and like verbs, different adjectives have different properties of valency. Some cannot ...
Janus Bahs Jacquet's user avatar
13 votes

When do we need to use "to" here?

There are three to's in this sentence: They seemed to understand each other and to communicate without having to exchange more than a few monosyllables. And the question is about deleting the ...
John Lawler's user avatar
10 votes

What is going on grammatically in the opening line of One Hundred Years of Solitude?

Only individual words have tense, not multiword phrases like was to remember. Thus the tense of was is the past tense. The construction be to INFINITIVE is a periphrastic expression in English with ...
tchrist's user avatar
  • 136k
10 votes

Ambiguous Information on ''verb -to and verb -ing''

There are many factors affecting choice of construction in English. Here, (1) I like to make jam. and (2) I like making jam. are both grammatical, idiomatic, and boil down (be nice; it is ...
Edwin Ashworth's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Does 'as' take bare infinitive?

This construction has nothing to do with the equative marker as or the comparative marker than. They appear in equative and comparative constructions, where they have their own jobs. They don't ...
John Lawler's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

When to use a gerund or an infinitive after "is"?

Unfortunately, the linked answer is very vague, and not correct. It does point out correctly that gerunds are more common as subjects than infinitives. But it certainly doesn't provide any rule that ...
John Lawler's user avatar
7 votes

Why 'doing' after 'look forward to'?

The key to understanding this usage is the preposition “to” which comes after the expression “look forward:” Look forward to something means to be pleased or excited that it is going to happen. ...
user 66974's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

"No one is born hating..." vs. "No one is born to hate..."

There's nothing stopping it from being as you write, but the words were chosen by Nelson Mandela to evoke a certain meaning. Here, he evokes a state of being. A newborn acting as soon as it is born. ...
Ian MacDonald's user avatar
6 votes

It is very difficult to solve. vs. It is too difficult to solve

The idiomatic adjectival construction too Adjective to Verb Phrase has the same meaning as the construction so Adjective that Not Verb Phrase I.e, It is too difficult to solve means something ...
John Lawler's user avatar
6 votes

Gerund after "to". Sentence: We use music to helping us relax

We use music to help us relax. We use music for helping us to relax. We use music for the purpose of helping us to relax. But your example with “to helping” is weird, and probably wrong to most ...
Anton's user avatar
  • 28.8k
6 votes

Can you tell me the difference between the bare infinitive and the base form of a verb?

The base form or plain form of the verb occurs in four different constructions. The imperative, the subjunctive, the bare infinitival construction and the to-infinitival construction. For many ...
Araucaria - Him's user avatar
5 votes

"can't do anything except eating" vs. "can't do anything except eat"

It seems the answer (in part) is found in the modal verb can; modal verbs (can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, and would) accept only bare infinitive verbs.     A. My dog ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 91.9k
5 votes
Accepted

the first trial <stemming/to stem> from... vs. the first person to climb

To summarize the question: We can say the first trial stemming from as well as the first trial to stem from. So why can't we say the first person climbing Mount Everest as well as the first ...
Shoe's user avatar
  • 33.2k
5 votes
Accepted

Can infinitive be moved in a "It is ... that" sentence?

The to-infinitival to go to Rome may not be separated from the verb that licenses it planned and foregrounded in the it-cleft construction. This is possible with objects - noun phrases, but not with ...
DW256's user avatar
  • 9,681
5 votes

Ambiguous Information on ''verb -to and verb -ing''

Which complement type to use is determined first and most importantly by which verb is being used, and only secondarily by possible pragmatic usages. Most verbs that take untensed complement clauses (...
John Lawler's user avatar
4 votes

Why 'doing' after 'look forward to'?

"look forward to" takes a noun. "drink" is a verb. So we take gerund "drinking", which acts as a noun.
Acccumulation's user avatar
4 votes

Is "Why to... ..." grammatical?

Most answers focus on the fact that the cited text is a headline / noun phrase rather than a complete sentence, but I think the real issue here is Why don't we normally include the infinitive marker &...
JK2's user avatar
  • 6,633
4 votes

It is very difficult to solve. vs. It is too difficult to solve

Both of these are correct, but mean different things. It is very difficult to solve states that the problem is solvable, but with a high level of difficulty. Perhaps most people could not solve the ...
Jim MacKenzie's user avatar
4 votes

Difference between "help + [infinitive]" with and without "to"

Made in America In the Google Books corpus of American publications, the construction help + bare infinitive, an American innovation, overtook its older equivalent with the marked infinitive around ...
KarlG's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Start statement with infinitive

Yes, there is no problem with starting a sentence with an infinitive, and the sentence you quote is correct.
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 26.2k
4 votes

Infinitive without to

*You need stay at home is an ungrammatical sentence. Need, like dare, is a semi-modal verb. That means it can act like a Modal Auxiliary verb in certain situations, of which this is not one. When it ...
John Lawler's user avatar
4 votes

What is the difference between a bare infinitive and an infinitive?

The difference is in the context. Infinitive is a morphological term, referring to a particular form of the verb (the verb form that ends in -en in German Ich muss gehen, and -r in Spanish Tengo que ...
John Lawler's user avatar

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