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    #1

    Question help (to)

    Having a wide knowledge of the English language, some time ago a colleague of mine used to remove all possible (read: all) "to" from "help to"s. He claimed this was the correct usage. I asked a question here but didn't fully understand the replies (can't find the thread). Now I have found in Swan's book that "we often use the infinitive without to;in British English, this is rather informal."

    So, should I or should I not, and in the formed case - when should I or should I not (what a mess ), use the "to" in "help to"?

    Thanks,
    Nyggus


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    #2

    Re: help (to)

    Can you give an example of what you mean? I haven't met a rule that says you cannot say "help to..."

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    #3

    Re: help (to)

    As I wrote, this colleague of mine removed it everywhere he came across it. It could be something like that:
    "This method helped us to estimate..."
    or like that:
    "This guy helped me to recover from serious financial problems"
    or like that:
    "I am going to help them to get back on their feet."

    So, he would remove it from anywhere he meets it.

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    #4

    Re: help (to)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Can you give an example of what you mean? I haven't met a rule that says you cannot say "help to..."
    Hi Anglika

    In my opinion ,Nyggus refers to the use of causative verbs :

    e.g. I helped him do his homework.

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    #5

    Re: help (to)

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    As I wrote, this colleague of mine removed it everywhere he came across it. It could be something like that:
    "This method helped us to estimate..."
    or like that:
    "This guy helped me to recover from serious financial problems"
    or like that:
    "I am going to help them to get back on their feet."

    So, he would remove it from anywhere he meets it.
    The sentences you wrote refer to the use of the causative verb "help":

    e.g.This guy helped me recover from serious financial problems".

    Anyway, there situations when help is necessarily followed by the preposition to :

    e.g.We need your help to do this assignment properly.

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    #6

    Re: help (to)

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    The sentences you wrote refer to the use of the causative verb "help":

    e.g.This guy helped me recover from serious financial problems".
    I have no idea what a "causative" verb means. And does it mean that I can't say "I helped him to recover from..."?

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    #7

    Re: help (to)

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    I have no idea what a "causative" verb means. And does it mean that I can't say "I helped him to recover from..."?
    Hi Nyggus

    Causative verbs designate the action necessary to cause another action to happen. In "The devil made me do it." the verb "made" causes the "do" to happen. Here is a brief list of causative verbs, in no particular order: let, help, allow, have, require, allow, motivate, get, make, convince, hire, assist, encourage, permit, employ, force.

    Verbs and Verbals
    ENGLISH PAGE - Let / Make / Have / Get

    Nyggus, the causative is a common structure in English. It is used when one thing or person causes another thing or person to do something. Thus, your sentence should sound :
    I helped him recover from.. -correct

    In my sentence :
    e.g.We need your help to do this assignment properly. - here , the verb help can be followed by the preposition to because there`s no pronoun or noun in the accusative case after the verb help as you have in your sentence [I helped him recover...]

    Some more examples of sentences with causative verbs:

    I helped the boy climb the ladder.
    He made me drink the whole glass of gin.
    Mary got the waiter to bring another clean glass.
    Note:
    the causative get is always followed by to
    She got the mechanic TO check her car.
    Does it help?
    Last edited by Teia; 13-Aug-2007 at 20:04.

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    #8

    Re: help (to)

    Thanks. But frankly, your explanation seems not to agree with what Swan wrote. Look at his examples:
    "Can you help me to find my ring?"
    "Thank you so much for helping us to repair the car."

    Yes, he writes the tos are often removed, but not as a rule. It still confuses me...

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    #9

    Re: help (to)

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    Thanks. But frankly, your explanation seems not to agree with what Swan wrote. Look at his examples:
    "Can you help me to find my ring?"
    "Thank you so much for helping us to repair the car."

    Yes, he writes the tos are often removed, but not as a rule. It still confuses me...
    Yes, you are right and Swan is right, as well. He is one of the best grammarians I know, but when it comes to use the causative verbs, it`s a good idea to use them the way standard English grammar does. If you were to take part in an FCE exam then, you or I [or any learner of English] should know this construction. I think that both forms [help to and help] are used but help without preposition is more formal [ it`s only an opinion]. Let me ask Tdol or Casiopea or any other English native teacher to see their opinions on that.

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    #10

    Re: help (to)

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    Yes, you are right and Swan is right, as well. He is one of the best grammarians I know, but when it comes to use the causative verbs, it`s a good idea to use them the way standard English grammar does. If you were to take part in an FCE exam then, you or I [or any learner of English] should know this construction. I think that both forms [help to and help] are used but help without preposition is more formal [ it`s only an opinion]. Let me ask Tdol or Casiopea or any other English native teacher to see their opinions on that.
    Well, for quite a long time I did not use "to" but when I found the thing in Swan's book I, you know, was a bit shocked. So let's wait for others' opinion.

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