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    • Join Date: Oct 2009
    • Posts: 21
    #1

    Exclamation Should the particle "to" be used in this exmpl? Why/why not?

    They made a model for helping designers decide when to do X.

    or

    They made a model for helping designers to decide when to do X.

  1. Junior Member
    English Teacher

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 41
    #2

    Re: Should the particle "to" be used in this exmpl? Why/why not?

    Hi

    In English help can be followed either by an infinitive (to + base verb) or a bare infinitive (base verb only), so both of your examples are correct.

    Some common patterns with help are:

    • help somebody do / to do something
    • help somebody with something
    • help somebody for some reason
    • help somebody in doing something

    One mistake with help that people sometimes make is to use it with a gerund (base verb + ing) but this is incorrect. For example:

    help somebody doing something

    I hope this helps.

    P.S. If you want a challenge, try this question: help + gerund is incorrect, but the following sentence is good English. Why?

    The hotel employee helped the man carrying the heavy suitcases.

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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 3,110
    #3

    Re: Should the particle "to" be used in this exmpl? Why/why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by crclee View Post
    Hi

    In English help can be followed either by an infinitive (to + base verb) or a bare infinitive (base verb only), so both of your examples are correct.

    Some common patterns with help are:

    • help somebody do / to do something
    • help somebody with something
    • help somebody for some reason
    • help somebody in doing something

    One mistake with help that people sometimes make is to use it with a gerund (base verb + ing) but this is incorrect. For example:

    help somebody doing something

    I hope this helps.

    P.S. If you want a challenge, try this question: help + gerund is incorrect, but the following sentence is good English. Why?

    The hotel employee helped the man carrying the heavy suitcases.
    I will give it a try:

    It is good English because the hotel employee didn't help the man in carrying the heavy suitcases. The actual meaning of your sentence is that the hotel employee helped the man who is carrying the heavy suitcases, am I right?

  2. Junior Member
    English Teacher

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 41
    #4

    Re: Should the particle "to" be used in this exmpl? Why/why not?

    Right!

    There is a reduced relative clause in this sentence, so although "carrying" looks like a gerund it is actually not.

    The full sentence, as you imagined, should read "The hotel employee helped the man who was carrying the heavy suitcases."

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