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    #1

    Bare Infinitive

    I would like to verify if this sentence has an example of a bare infinitive.

    I can see them rallying across the street.

    Thank you in advance for you replies.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Bare Infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by esl.com View Post
    I would like to verify if this sentence has an example of a bare infinitive.

    I can see them rallying across the street.
    The bare infinitive is see

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    #3

    Re: Bare Infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by esl.com View Post
    I would like to verify if this sentence has an example of a bare infinitive.

    I can see them rallying across the street.

    Thank you in advance for you replies.
    I am an uneducated non-native non-teacher (augurs well for someone who wants a decent response, huh?), but I am happy to share my views on this.

    The verb in the main clause is "can see". The main clause is finite, ie., it shows tense. When you see a cluster of verbs in a finite clause, it is always the first verb that carries person, number, and tense. In your sentence, "can" does that, in keeping with one of the features of central modals: they have no nonfinite forms. The bare infinitive form of "to see" is "see". But this is, say, the singular first person form of "to see" too. No problem! As I already mentioned, the first verb is finite, the rest is nonfinite. If "see" is nonfinite, it must be a bare infinitive. On the other hand, if "see" is finite, as is here:

    I see them rallying across the street.,

    that "see" is not a bare infitive.

    To recapitulate:

    I can see them rallying across the street. -- bare inf.
    I see them rallying across the street. -- no bare inf.

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