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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    bare infinite clauses

    I am a volunteer teacher of ESL.
    Two advanced students are trying to understand if there is a pattern in which verbs are followed by bare infinitives and which are not.
    e.g. he made me do it. (bare) but.... He told me to do it(complete)
    We notice that verbs of perception, like "see" "hear" seem to be followed by the bare infinitive?? e.g. He saw the truck leave. He heard the bird sing.

    It would help if we can identify a pattern!
    Many thanks,
    JK

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    #2

    Re: bare infinite clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I am a volunteer teacher of ESL.
    Two advanced students are trying to understand if there is a pattern in which verbs are followed by bare infinitives and which are not.
    e.g. he made me do it. (bare) but.... He told me to do it(complete)
    We notice that verbs of perception, like "see" "hear" seem to be followed by the bare infinitive?? e.g. He saw the truck leave. He heard the bird sing.

    It would help if we can identify a pattern!
    Many thanks,
    JK
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good afternoon, JK.

    (1) Congratulations on being a volunteer ESL teacher. I am sure your students really appreciate your help.

    (2) I think your best bet is to check some good grammar books and to look for information on the Web.

    (3) I checked my books and found that these verbs take the bare infinitive:
    let
    make
    see
    hear
    feel
    watch
    have (American English)
    notice
    bid
    dare
    please (as a modal: (you) please close the door)
    need (ONLY when a modal, as in "You need not go." Otherwise: You do not need TO go)
    help (you may or may not use "to": You help them (to) learn English.

    (4) Sorry. I could not find any pattern.

    (a) Some are causative verbs (make/ have): I had him cut my hair.

    (b) Some are sensory verbs (see, hear, feel).

    (c) One famous grammarian observed that the bare infinitive often seems to follow those familiar verbs that we use a lot in conversation.

    Best of luck to you.

    *****

    Credits for this information: Practical English (Michael Swan); The Grammar Book (Celce-Murcia and Larsen-Freeman); A Grammar of Present-Day English (Pence and Emery); Essentials of English Grammar (Jespersen).
    Last edited by TheParser; 09-Apr-2010 at 09:32.

  2. mara_ce's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: bare infinite clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    It would help if we can identify a pattern!
    According to my grammar notes the bare infinitive is used:

    1. After verbs indicating physical perception: "feel, hear, listen to, look at, notice, observe, perceive, see, watch".
    I heard him speak.
    We saw him cross the street.
    I want to look at him do this.
    I want to listen to him describe this.
    I perceived the bats fly over the roof.
    Also “know” (in the past and perfect tenses) meaning “see, hear, have the experience or knowledge of”:
    I have never known (seen) that man smile.
    Have you ever known (heard) me tell a lie?

    2. After the causative verbs "make, let and have".
    It is used optionally after “help” and “bid”, and also in sentences in which the information expands the meaning of the verb “do”.
    Ill help you (to) do it.
    He bade me (to) sit down.
    All I did was (to) hit him on the head.

    3. After the set phrases "had better, would rather, had sooner":
    Id better do it tomorrow.
    Id rather stay here.
    Id sooner die than surrender.

    4. After the anomalous finites "can, must, need, dare,(except ought)".
    “Need” and “dare” can also be followed by the full infinitive.

    5. After "than, but and except":
    Its better to do something than be passive.
    He did nothing but laugh.
    I have done nothing except send for the constable
    Last edited by mara_ce; 09-Apr-2010 at 01:46.

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    #4

    Re: bare infinite clauses

    6. after auxiliary verbs

    I don’t understand the meaning of this passage.

    7. in sentences of a special type (infinitive sentences) beginning with why

    Why not come and talk to her yourself?

    We shall go there at once.

    Note 1: After the verbs to hear, to see, to make and to know in the Passive Voice the to-Infinitive is used.

    He was heard to mention your name several times.

    The were seen to leave the house early in the morning.

    The child was made to obey.

    The Sir Pitt Crawley was never known to give away a shilling or to do a good action.

    Note 2: the verb to be after the verb to feel is used with the particle to

    I felt this to be very true.

    Regards,

    V.

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