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    #1

    bar infinitive

    Dear teachers,

    I know that in Modern English the infinitive is chiefly used with the particle “to”. But there are cases when the so-called bare infinitive is used.

    I know also the grammatical rule that the bar infinitive is used by the way after verbs denoting sense perception, such as to hear, to see, etc.

    In a few minutes they heard him ascend the ladder to his own room.
    I never saw you look so well before.

    Would you tell me why after the verbs to hear, to see in the Passive Voice to-Infinitive is used?

    He was heard to mention your name several times.
    They were seen to leave the house early in the morning.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

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    #2

    Re: bar infinitive

    I don't think that there is such a rule.

    "He was heard to mention your name several times.
    They were seen to leave the house early in the morning."

    In American English the above sentences would sound unusual. Here is how we would say it:

    He was heard mentioning your name several times.
    They were seen leaving the house early in the morning.

    It seems to me that the use of to with the infinitive is often idiomatic.

    "I will ask him to call you."
    "I will have him call you."

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: bar infinitive

    The pattern is as follows:

    ACTIVE
    I heard him call your name.

    The object and the subject share the same referent (e.g., the man):
    I heard him. (object)
    He called your name. (subject)
    PASSIVE
    He was heard to call your name.

    The subjects do not share the same referent:
    He was heard by someone. (subjects)
    He called your name. (subject)

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