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    #1

    to help - usage

    Q1: I would like someone to explain to me when we use to help and when we use help in the sentence. Is there any rule that I should know?

    Q2: "There's five people in the room." - in my humble opinion is a case of subject/verb inconsistency, right?

    I will appreciate it if you you let me know of the answers. Don't want to miss it.

    Thanks a lot.

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    #2

    Re: to help - usage

    Intrepidusa:

    'Will you please help me?' (main verb=help)
    'Yes, I would be happy to help you.' (infinitive as the complement of the adjective 'happy')
    Is this what you mean in your question, Q1: I would like someone to explain to me when we use to help and when we use help in the sentence. Is there any rule that I should know? ?

    Yes, you are correct. It should be, 'There are five people in the room.'

    I hope this is helpful,

    Petra

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    #3

    Re: to help - usage

    Could you refer me to a grammar textbook where this particular case is discussed?

    I haven't quite understood your explanation. I want to know the rule/ There must be a rule on that.

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    #4

    Re: to help - usage

    Dear Intrepidusa

    Hmmm... no. The rule book for this one is in my head (a somewhat scary place at times! ). Probably someone will write in to recommend a text that will answer your question, but I'm not sure where your confusion lies. Do you wonder why one cannot say, "Please to help me?" or_________???
    I will be ever so pleased to help more and provide examples, if you will guide me to an understanding of your specific area of confusion.
    The only guideline I can give is that we use 'help(s)' when it's appropriate to use a conjugated verb, and 'to help' when the infinitive is required, but I think you know that.

    Petra

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    #5

    Re: to help - usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidusa View Post
    Could you refer me to a grammar textbook where this particular case is discussed?

    I haven't quite understood your explanation. I want to know the rule/ There must be a rule on that.
    There is nothing special about the verb "to help". You use the infinitive "to help" or the bare verb "help" in the same places you'd use them with any other verb.
    It might be easier to explain if you could tell us why this verb seems special to you?

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    #6

    to help - usage

    Quote Originally Posted by pyoung View Post
    Dear Intrepidusa

    Hmmm... no. The rule book for this one is in my head (a somewhat scary place at times! ). Probably someone will write in to recommend a text that will answer your question, but I'm not sure where your confusion lies. Do you wonder why one cannot say, "Please to help me?" or_________???
    I will be ever so pleased to help more and provide examples, if you will guide me to an understanding of your specific area of confusion.
    The only guideline I can give is that we use 'help(s)' when it's appropriate to use a conjugated verb, and 'to help' when the infinitive is required, but I think you know that.

    Petra
    Petra, Raymott,

    Thanks for your reply.
    I was asking about the following usages:

    1. He helped me to write my first English essay. (Is this a mistake?)
    2. He helped me compose the new company slogan. - Sometimes with to and other times without to.

    How am I supposed to explain this usage to my students?

    Another example:
    1. She allowed me to hold the child.
    But NOT:
    She allowed me hold the child. (Raymott, a-ha...)

    So again, what's so special about the verb help? Has it turned into a modal/auxuliary verb? You know what I mean, just like we do not use to with verbs following can, may, must, let?

    Is my question clear? I want to read about this usage of the verb to help.

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    #7

    Re: to help - usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidusa View Post
    Petra, Raymott,

    Thanks for your reply.
    I was asking about the following usages:

    1. He helped me to write my first English essay. (Is this a mistake?)
    2. He helped me compose the new company slogan. - Sometimes with to and other times without to.

    How am I supposed to explain this usage to my students?

    Another example:
    1. She allowed me to hold the child.
    But NOT:
    She allowed me hold the child. (Raymott, a-ha...)

    So again, what's so special about the verb help? Has it turned into a modal/auxuliary verb? You know what I mean, just like we do not use to with verbs following can, may, must, let?

    Is my question clear? I want to read about this usage of the verb to help.
    Yes, the question is clear now.
    "Help" can act as an auxillary verb, as you've pointed out. It's not a modal verb.
    The answer is simple. Using "to" after "help" is optional.
    1. He helped me to write my first English essay. (Is this a mistake?) No
    2. He helped me compose the new company slogan. - Sometimes with to and other times without to. Yes, and both are correct.
    All of the following are correct:
    3. He helped me write my first English essay.
    4. He helped me to compose the new company slogan.
    5. Can you help me (to) open this jar?
    6. Can you help Larry (to) get out of jail?
    7. I helped the old lady with poor vision (to) fill out her form.
    8. I helped the old lady who needed a bus to get to the hospital (to) buy a ticket.
    In 7, I'd leave the "to" in. In 8, I'd rewrite the sentence.
    And I'd leave the "to" in in formal writing.

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