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    • Join Date: Jun 2008
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    #1

    Smile Please explain clearly about the verb "help"

    After verb "help", does it often have another verb?
    For example: She worked to help support her family.
    Is it possible and right, do we need any word between "help support" in the sentence above?
    Please summary the usage of "help", by the way, the usage of "as" too.
    Thanks in advance for your help.

  1. RonBee's Avatar
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    #2

    re: Please explain clearly about the verb "help"

    Yes, it is common to use "help" as a helping verb as in your example.


  2. Soup's Avatar
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    #3

    re: Please explain clearly about the verb "help"

    The verb help can take either a bare infintive or a to-infinitive. Some argue (Wood 1962; Lu 1996) that the choice of the infintive variant is 'conditioned by the subject's involvment'. That is, to can be omitted only when the helper does some of the work, or shares in the activity jointly with the person that is helped:
    Ex: John helped Mary eat the pudding.
    => John ate part of the pudding, as did Mary.
    When the helper does not take part in the activity with which the help is offered, the infinitive must take to:
    Ex: John helped Mary to eat the pudding.
    => John fed Mary the pudding.
    The above semantic distinction works if help functions as the main verb. It doesn't here:
    Ex: She worked [in order] to help (to) support her family.
    In other words, to is optional in that example. In fact, adding it in sounds kind of awkward, although not ungrammatical, at least from this North American speaker's stance. (According to the literature, help + bare infinitive is preferred in American English; e.g., John helped Mary eat the pudding is ambigious).

    ______________________

    What would you like to know about 'as'? It's a big topic.
    Last edited by Soup; 08-Jun-2008 at 12:39.

  3. RonBee's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Please explain clearly about the verb "help"

    More examples:
    John helped Mary eat the pizza.
    John helped Mary with her bundles.
    Mary helped John with his homework.
    Mary helped John learn how to use a computer.
    John helped Mary get off the bus.
    Mary helped John learn Spanish.
    Mary helped John pay the bills.
    Mary helped John get ready for work.
    Mary and John helped each other.

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