the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

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the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Sam 19 Jan - 16:12

Hi everyone,

As we are at it, can anyone tell me about the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to" excluding the defectives?
For example to help do something (no "to" before "do").

I personaly have 4.5 in mind including to help (the .5 one means that there's a verb for which I can meet as many with as without "to") but there might be others. Are your 4.5 different to mine?

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  Guilaine le Dim 20 Jan - 12:29

Hi Gérard, I've got an answer for you :

My grammar-book tells me it's an americanism :
- Go and help wash-up.
- I helped him finish the job.

The verb "to bid" may have the same construction :
- Bid him come.

There are other expressions which are similar, but there are said to be "idiomatic" expressions :
- He let fall a word about his intentions.
- Let go my arm, you are hurting me.
- Let's make believe we are wrecked on a desert island.
- You must make do with what you have.
- I've heard say (=I've heard it said, I've heard) that your country is very picturesque.

I'll tell you more about the subject later.
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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Dim 20 Jan - 12:53

Hi Ghislaine,

Thank you so much!
I love your answer which makes me learn several new points! :-)
(notice teh "makes me learn": infinitive without to)
However I will comment later on.
Thank you so much!

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Dim 20 Jan - 13:22

Ghislaine,

You asked me:"to be afraid by ? (instead of to be afraid of)".
I gave you a reply -> http://www.cafe-polyglotte.com/t1959-i-love-the-internet#8090
I simply want to confirm after further investigations:
- not permitted to write "to be afraid by" for the reasons I gave: afraid is an adjective and there's no passive -of course-; the construction is to be afraid of sb/sth and nothing else.
- (what I didn't write) the used form could be "to be frightened by" (if you really wanted a "by"); this time, it's the passive form of "to frighten".

HTH

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  Guilaine le Dim 20 Jan - 14:51

Thank you for your reply, Gérard, I also like to investigate further. Today is a horrible day, as it is snowing very hard in Calais, we had to cancel a concert in a nearby village, and we are so sorry about it. All the Departemental roads are full of snow and black-ice, we dare not take the car, and we are thinking of all the musicians from Argentina, and of our dear friend who organised the meal and concert !! Crying or Very sad Arrgh !!



I come back to this subject, which was raised by Muriel’s phrase :


“This history will help you (to) guess where we are going”.

I give you a few examples which I’ve found in various grammar-books :


- After ‘help’ you can use the infinitive with or without ‘to’ :

  • - Can somebody help me ((to) move this table ?

  • ‘Make’:
  • - You make me miss my train.
  • - Hot weather makes me feel uncomfortable.
  • - I only did it because they made me do it.
  • - They make us laugh.
  • In the passive voice, ‘make’ has the infinitive with ‘to’:
  • - I only did it because I was made to do it.

  • ‘let’
  • - She wouldn’t let me read the letter. (= allow me to read)
  • - Tom let me drive his car yesterday.
  • - They let him do what he likes.
  • - We’ll let you know when we are back.

  • ‘have’
  • - Would you have me believe that story ?
  • - The kind of boy my parents would have me marry.
  • - We had a queer thing happen to us.

And then we have the perception verbs, such as :
to see, to hear, to feel, and also verbs like :to watch, to notice, to know :

- I saw him run away with the hand-bag. ( = I was there, as a witness).

- I saw him running away with the hand-bag. (more precisely, he was running when I saw him)

- We heard him bang the door.

- We felt the earth quake under our feet.

- I watched him load his gun.

- We’ve never known them take so much interest in their work.

- I’ve known it happen.


That's all for the moment. I hope this will help us write and speak English properly. Idea
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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Dim 20 Jan - 15:09

Ghislaine,

Thanks again for the very good message you published.
Tho (sorry for American spelling) I posted another long message, I will comment later on (I'm busy and don't want to post too quick a response) but what I would like to write right now is that I don't agree with "it's an americanism"...
Things change very quickly due to films, TV, songs, fashion, etc. English people tend to adopt American English.
The trend in the States is to move to "without to".. that's why I wrote that I had 4.5 verbs in mind (there's half one which is exactly in the middle of the process and it's not possible to conclude yet; for the 4 others, it's 100% sure i.e. the "without" usage frequency is greater than 50%).
You provided other verbs so my 4.5 is now wrong: I completely forgot the perception verbs (hear, see, etc.) bugger me! Wink
In addition to perception verbs, you listed a few verbs -thanks- I have others... Smile

Thank you very much for your research! Appreciated!

I will speak about other tendancies of American En in a specific topic e.g. regular verbs, spelling simplification... American language is changing "all the time" and it's necessary to not trust grammar books and dictionaries (they're excellent books provided we're aware of possible evolution).


Dernière édition par gerardM le Dim 20 Jan - 15:20, édité 1 fois

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  Guilaine le Dim 20 Jan - 15:16

Yes, this is very interesting, and I look forward to the next message.
We've switched to another subject, and we should create a new title, as it may be confusing.
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the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Dim 20 Jan - 15:28

Sorry Ghislaine! As usual/very often, I publish then I edit then again and again.

I added new words to my previous message.

~~

Regarding a possible new topic, it's the responsibility of moderators (you are - I'm not) to split topics, to move messages in order to tidy the sub-forum (they also have to insure members won't do anything messy): it's a difficult task Wink
It's difficult as we know we have to split afterwards when there are several messages on a side-topic (below this "several", it's not worth to split).
I would say that it's better to have long discussions, multiple responses showing true exchanges... not easy to decide beforehands when to open a new topic or not.

I'm very pleased to see lots of messages in response to mine :-)


Dernière édition par gerardM le Dim 20 Jan - 17:48, édité 1 fois (Raison : typos)

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  MurielB le Dim 20 Jan - 17:04

Hi Guilaine, Gérard
I have created a new topic and i hope it's OK for you. Anytime you want me to do it you are welcome Smile

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Dim 20 Jan - 17:41

Thank you very much Muriel!

> the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"
Just a comment: I dislike the "can" as in my opinion, with certain verbs it is not a possibility but a necessity Wink but don't change anything as it's only a rant of mine!
Laughing
I know I wrote myself "can" in the initial message.

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  MurielB le Dim 20 Jan - 18:05

By the way, Gerard, what is " A rant of mine" I have never seen that expression...

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Dim 20 Jan - 18:49

Hi Ghislaine, hi everyone,

First of all, I'm sorry for having delayed my response but I was not fully available and could not focus on my posting. I'm presently home (in spite of the snow).
HereI am.
Guilaine a écrit:Hi Gérard, I've got an answer for you :

My grammar-book tells me it's an americanism :
- Go and help wash-up.
- I helped him finish the job.

The verb "to bid" may have the same construction :
- Bid him come.

There are other expressions which are similar, but there are said to be "idiomatic" expressions :
- He let fall a word about his intentions.
- Let go my arm, you are hurting me.
- Let's make believe we are wrecked on a desert island.
- You must make do with what you have.
- I've heard say (=I've heard it said, I've heard) that your country is very picturesque.

I'll tell you more about the subject later.
Thanks for this message! :-)

~~

> - Go and help wash-up.
Very interesting indeed!
In your example, there's a double couple: "go and help" & "help wash-up"
Let's consider "wash-up".
- I'm sorry but in my opinion, there must not be a hyphen as "wash up" is a phrasal verb and up is the particle (which is separable); there's no verb "wash-up" (but there are a few other words looking like this - none as a verb)
- "to wash up" has got several meanings: in GB, to wash up means to do the dishes; in US, it means to clean oneself
- "to wash sth up/wash sth up" means to clean
- "to wash sth up/wash sth up" also means to reject bodies/debris to shore (for the tide).
Let's consider "help wash up".
You are right, the verb to help is one of those that could not have "to" before an infinitive. I would say that in the States, the "without to" use represents a high rate (IMHO-In My Humble Opinion 80-90%), in the UK, less often but the trend is to get rid of it (say 50-60%).
My words are good for any verb after "to help".
Let's consider "Go and help".
It's funny as there are 2 stages:
-1- the "go and help"
-2- the "go help"
After "to go", most Americans won't use a "to" nor an "and": their common use is "go help" (70-80%). The Brits would use "go to help" or "go and help", rarely "go help".
NB: The tense of the verb after "and" is not an infinitive - here in "go and help", it's an imperative= the same tense as for "go", same as the verb before "and".
My words are good for any verb after "to go".
So, "to go" is a second verb of my 4.5 list without a "to".

~~

> - I helped him finish the job.
See the comments above: "help wash up".

~~

> The verb "to bid" may have the same construction :
> - Bid him come.
This is very interesting!! I didn't know about this verb that can indeed be followed by an infinitive without to.
To bid is a strange verb as it has several meanings:
transitive -
- offrir, estimer
- dire e.g. to bid goog morning
- (sens un peu ancien) to bid sb to do=ordonner
- to bid sb to do=inviter, demander
- annoncer (au bridge)
intransitive -
- faire une enchère, enchérir, soumissionner, faire une offre
- annoncer, parler (au bridge)
It's with the 2 points written "to bid sb to do" that the "to" can be forgotten.
Thanks as I didn't know!

Phew! Smile

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Dim 20 Jan - 19:09

Hi Muriel, hi everyone,

MurielB a écrit:By the way, Gerard, what is " A rant of mine" I have never seen that expression...
I used this on purpose to get someone to ask Wink Thanks!

"(noun)... of mine" is common grammar e.g. a friend of mine= un de mes amis, "a rant of mine"=(see below) de ma part.
Don't be afraid of this "to mine".

"Rant" can be a noun or a verb.
The meanings of the verb are:
- tempêter, pester
Given the harsh meaning, the preposition behind is "at" (the "at" is often aggressive); another preposition is "about"=à propos de
- "to rant at" is considered as a phrasal verb
- there's an idiom: "to rant and rave (at)"=tempêter (contre)
- there's another phrasal verb which is "to rant on" meaning divaguer.

As a noun, "rant" can be translated into "coup de gueule", something usually said with a powerful tone.
"Rant" is a short form for "ranting" or "rantings".

"Ranting" can also be an adjective with a strong meaning such as "déchaîné".

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Dim 20 Jan - 19:39

Hi Ghislaine, Muriel, hi everyone,

Guilaine a écrit:...
There are other expressions which are similar, but there are said to be "idiomatic" expressions :
- He let fall a word about his intentions.
- Let go my arm, you are hurting me.
- Let's make believe we are wrecked on a desert island.
- You must make do with what you have.
- I've heard say (=I've heard it said, I've heard) that your country is very picturesque.
...
> there are said to be "idiomatic" expressions
I suppose you wanted to write 'they are said to be "idiomatic" expressions'.
I don't completely agree. Smile

~~

> - He let fall a word about his intentions.
> - Let go my arm, you are hurting me.
> - Let's make believe we are wrecked on a desert island.
I mean that as far as I know, to let is always followed by an infinitive without to, and it is another verb of my 4.5 list.
Notice that "to let" is the auxiliary used for imperative: let me do this // let him speak / let's go, let's twist again // let them leave.
When it's not an imperative ("- He let fall a word about his intentions."), it means "laisser" and the construction is the same: followed by an infinitive without to.
I don't know of a usage with "to do".

~~

> - Let's make believe we are wrecked on a desert island.
> - You must make do with what you have.
The first example is the imperative of to make".
"Make believe", "make do with" - they are no idiomatic forms, "to make" is never (so I guess) followed by "to" when there's an infinitive. So, this is another verb in my list.

~~

> - I've heard say (=I've heard it said, I've heard) that your country is very picturesque.
Very glad to read your example as I had completely forgotten this group of verbs.
No idiomatic pattern here, it's the group of the perception verbs.
In English grammar books, it's written that perception verbs (you know: the 5 senses: - to hear, to see, to taste, to smell...) have to be followed by an infinitive without to.
I read this several times but it's not that simple as we can also read "I heard you saying" when we want to insist on the exact moment itself. Let's say it depends on the context and that there's a suttle difference between "I saw you enter the room" and "I saw you entering the room"; both are right.

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Dim 20 Jan - 20:35

Hi everyone,

Yes I know I have to respond to another post of Ghislaine's. I'll do this but pls, let me breathe and dine Wink

NB:
- "of Ghislaine's" equivalent to "of mine", with its apostrophe-s. Got it Muriel?
- the "let me breathe": infinitive without to or rather an imperative. The French conjugation doesn't have a 1st-person imperative, we rather use the subjunctive "que je respire"/"laissez-moi respirer" Wink

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Dim 20 Jan - 22:16

Hi Ghislaine,

Guilaine a écrit:Thank you for your reply, Gérard, I also like to investigate further. Today is a horrible day, as it is snowing very hard in Calais, we had to cancel a concert in a nearby village, and we are so sorry about it. All the Departemental roads are full of snow and black-ice, we dare not take the car, and we are thinking of all the musicians from Argentina, and of our dear friend who organised the meal and concert !! Crying or Very sad Arrgh !!
Sorry about the concert and your friend who organized it. Sad


I come back to this subject, which was raised by Muriel’s phrase :


“This history will help you (to) guess where we are going”.

I give you a few examples which I’ve found in various grammar-books :


- After ‘help’ you can use the infinitive with or without ‘to’ :

  • - Can somebody help me ((to) move this table ?

  • ‘Make’:
  • - You make me miss my train.
  • - Hot weather makes me feel uncomfortable.
  • - I only did it because they made me do it.
  • - They make us laugh.
  • In the passive voice, ‘make’ has the infinitive with ‘to’:
  • - I only did it because I was made to do it.

  • ‘let’
  • - She wouldn’t let me read the letter. (= allow me to read)
  • - Tom let me drive his car yesterday.
  • - They let him do what he likes.
  • - We’ll let you know when we are back.

  • ‘have’
  • - Would you have me believe that story ?
  • - The kind of boy my parents would have me marry.
  • - We had a queer thing happen to us.

And then we have the perception verbs, such as :
to see, to hear, to feel, and also verbs like :to watch, to notice, to know :

- I saw him run away with the hand-bag. ( = I was there, as a witness).

- I saw him running away with the hand-bag. (more precisely, he was running when I saw him)

- We heard him bang the door.

- We felt the earth quake under our feet.

- I watched him load his gun.

- We’ve never known them take so much interest in their work.

- I’ve known it happen.


That's all for the moment. I hope this will help us write and speak English properly. Idea
Thank you so much as your words are very useful and you teach me things I didn't know; I'm very grateful!

My "4.5 lst" was:
- to help
- to let
- to make
- to go
- to come (half one Smile )

- I found another one: to do e.g. I did find it fabulous! Smile

In this present message, you wrote about:
- to help - OK - After ‘help’ you can use the infinitive with or without ‘to’ - I'm sceptic (US spelling of skeptic) about American as I never read the "to" in the texts I meet. You probably guess I rather deal with American tho I want to be aware of British English ways as well.
- to make - OK - you taught me the passive form needed the "to" - I don't use the passive form of to make daily but thanks for this (I find the "I was made to do it" strange)!
- to let - OK
- to have - Thanks for this point I wan't aware of! I'm going to study this!

- the perception family - yes I should have thought of these verbs. You taught me interesting things for a few of them: I knew about to see, to hear & to feel, but I didn't about to watch, to notice, to know.

In a previous message, you also wrote about:
- to go
- to bid - new to me!

> I hope this will help us write and speak English properly. Idea
Yes, your words will help me improve my English.

~~

Back to my "to come".
I counted it for half as many American people now say "come see me" or similar (infinitive without to) but it's less frequent than with to go; the Brits are still a bit surprised to hear this but they like more and more!

As already stated, there's also the "insistence pattern" (I don't know the name): do+infinitive without to - I do like jazz music!

HTH


Dernière édition par gerardM le Lun 21 Jan - 9:51, édité 1 fois (Raison : 1 mistake fixed)

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  MurielB le Lun 21 Jan - 8:26

Hi Guilaine ! Hi Gérard ! hi everyone !
Thanks a lot for all these explanations ! I enjoyed reading them. Thanks for expaining "rant" Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Lun 21 Jan - 9:54

You're welcome Muriel!

Thanks for this forum which allows us to exchange and discuss in several foreign languages.

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  Guilaine le Lun 21 Jan - 23:18

Thank you for your detailed answer, Gérard, I can see you have been thinking a lot about all this.
well done !

wash-up was indeed a mistake, you are right : it should be : wash up, I agree.

Another mistake of mine was : there are said to be : of course, it should have been : they are said to be.

Your explanations are OK to me, there are a few differences between Brit. and Am. but it doesn't trouble me at all, as long as it is correct.

Is the way you wrote "suttle" American ? For me, it is spelt/spelled :subtle.

I also wish to breathe and rest a little, but I must say the job interested me as it is a good way of deepening things we are supposed to know.
Bye for now.
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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Mar 22 Jan - 10:06

Ghislaine, everyone,

Guilaine a écrit:... Is the way you wrote "suttle" American ? For me, it is spelt/spelled :[b]subtle...
You are right Ghislaine, it's a typo.
Despite the pronunciation, they keep the silent "b" Smile

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  MurielB le Mer 23 Jan - 9:59

Hello Guilaine, Gérard, everyone
As I wanted to add something else i have found in my grammar that the expressions with a restrictive meaning like
"All I did was", "All they do is" "the best thing i can do is" "All you have to do is" are also followed by an infinitive without "to"

Here I am trying to help you, and all you do is laugh at me
What I really wanted to do was run round the room yelling.

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Mer 23 Jan - 14:01

Hi Muriel, hi everyone,

You're right! Smile
Good discovery :-) Thank you!

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Ven 1 Fév - 16:16

Hi Muriel, hi everyone,

Another couple of verbs that I completely forgot though they can be dodgy in various ways is: to need and to dare

- You need not worry
- You dare not do this

In both sentences, to need and to dare are:
- followed by an infinitive without "to"
- allowed to get a "not" without using "to do"

However, thinking further of these verbs, it seems this is true in specific expressions only (kinda idioms) and not a general rule. For example, it doesn't seem possible to write "You need worry" instead of "You need to worry".
Also, I wonder if there's a difference between American and British on this point.

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  MurielB le Sam 2 Fév - 14:41

Bonjour Guilaine, Gérard, tous
C'est vrai qu'il faut souvent se fier à l'oreille et s'il y a un doute alors on peut ouvrir sa grammaire. study

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Re: the English verbs that can be followed by an infinitive without "to"

Message  gerardM le Sam 2 Fév - 15:35

Hi Muriel, hi everyone,

Nothing to do with the object but something I often hear:

Don't you dare!! to challenge someone.

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