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    #1

    Infinitive

    Dear teacher, I have some questions about infinitive.

    Please tell me if I'm wrong.

    1. I saw it happening. = I saw it (to be) happening. = participle clause

    2. I made him do it. Bare infinitive
    I cannot use "I made him to do it"? because the verb is make

    3. You had better leave now. bare infinitive
    Can I use you had better to leave now?

    The difference is one of form only. There is no difference in meaning
    to-infinitive or bare infinitive.

    -Bare infinitive only form is after modal auxiliary verbs.
    -After the object after certain verbs, such as hear, see, make, let, there is no to.

    I spent three hours to try to understand these.
    I spent three hours try to understand these. I hope both are correct.

    The same thing happened to me < what is to in this sentence call? (is it just preposition?)

    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by Pakhavit; 03-Jun-2010 at 22:16.

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    #2

    Re: Infinitive

    Still waiting

    thank you.

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    #3

    Re: Infinitive

    Hello Pakhavit,

    1. I saw it happening = participle clause
    I agree.

    2. I made him do it. Bare infinitive

    I agree.

    I cannot use "I made him to do it"? because the verb is make
    That's right.

    3. You had better leave now. bare infinitive

    That's right.

    Can I use you had better to leave now?

    No, you can't use that.

    The difference is one of form only. There is no difference in meaning
    to-infinitive or bare infinitive.

    It may be that someone somewhere has analysed the typical positions of bare infinitives, and the typical positions of to-infinitives, and discovered a difference in meaning or implication. But as a general rule, I would say yes, the difference is of form only, and depends on grammatical custom.

    Bare infinitive only form is after modal auxiliary verbs.

    That depends on the verbs you classify as modal auxiliary. Semi-modals may take the to-infinitive form (e.g. "I used to do X").

    After the object after certain verbs, such as hear, see, make, let, there is no to.

    I can't think of an exception; though you may find a "to" in non-standard English, or in older texts.

    I spent three hours to try to understand these.
    I spent three hours try to understand these. I hope both are correct.


    No; "I spent three hours trying to understand these".

    The same thing happened to me < what is to in this sentence call? (is it just preposition?)

    Yes, it's a preposition.

    All the best,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

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