[Grammar] Infinitive

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Pakhavit

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Dear teacher, I have some questions about infinitive.

Please tell me if I'm wrong.

1. I saw it happening. = I saw it (to be) happening. = participle clause

2. I made him do it. Bare infinitive
I cannot use "I made him to do it"? because the verb is make

3. You had better leave now. bare infinitive
Can I use you had better to leave now?

The difference is one of form only. There is no difference in meaning
to-infinitive or bare infinitive.

-Bare infinitive only form is after modal auxiliary verbs.
-After the object after certain verbs, such as hear, see, make, let, there is no to.

I spent three hours to try to understand these.
I spent three hours try to understand these. I hope both are correct. :-o

The same thing happened to me < what is to in this sentence call? (is it just preposition?)

Thank you very much.
 
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Pakhavit

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Still waiting :cry:

thank you.
 

MrPedantic

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Hello Pakhavit,

1. I saw it happening = participle clause
— I agree.

2. I made him do it. Bare infinitive

— I agree.

I cannot use "I made him to do it"? because the verb is make
— That's right.

3. You had better leave now. bare infinitive

— That's right.

Can I use you had better to leave now?

— No, you can't use that.

The difference is one of form only. There is no difference in meaning
to-infinitive or bare infinitive.

— It may be that someone somewhere has analysed the typical positions of bare infinitives, and the typical positions of to-infinitives, and discovered a difference in meaning or implication. But as a general rule, I would say yes, the difference is of form only, and depends on grammatical custom.

Bare infinitive only form is after modal auxiliary verbs.

— That depends on the verbs you classify as modal auxiliary. Semi-modals may take the to-infinitive form (e.g. "I used to do X").

After the object after certain verbs, such as hear, see, make, let, there is no to.

— I can't think of an exception; though you may find a "to" in non-standard English, or in older texts.

I spent three hours to try to understand these.
I spent three hours try to understand these. I hope both are correct.


— No; "I spent three hours trying to understand these".

The same thing happened to me < what is to in this sentence call? (is it just preposition?)

— Yes, it's a preposition.

All the best,

MrP
 
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