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Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2010


When expressing something in English, we, as second language speakers, often finds mistakes in choosing  a word and the status of it in our pattern. In this case, we will discuss about when we use Bare-infinitive and To Infinitive.

Bare-Infinitive is a base verb which has no"TO" in front of a verb, like;

Speak (Bare-Infinitive)
To speak (To Infinitive)

For Indonesian learners, the differences, specially in its usage, takes a lot of time and energy to find the best answer. This topic, I hop, will solve the problem.

Bare-Infinitive is always placed at:

1. After a subject, as in;

Many people respect the hero.

The word /respect/ is bare-inf. and the /many people/ is the subject.
There will be a mistake when we say; Many people to respect the hero.

2. After object of certain verbs (e.g. let, help (USA),make etc), as in;

He makes me cry.
They never let me go.
Please help me fix the car. (USA)

Certain verbs here are makes, let and help. And, the bare-inf(s). are cry, go and fix.
Note that this statement is not a verb,as in; I need a help. help here is a noun, because it is begun with indefinite article /a/.

To Infinitive is always placed at:

1. After Bare-Inf, as in;

I want to tell you something. (Want=bare-inf. And, To tell=To Inf.)

2. At the beginning of a phrase or sentence, as in;

A) as a phrase, as in;

To find the answer, please call me immediately! (We also say it : Infinitive Phrase)

B) as a part of a sentence - As a Subject or An Object, as in;

- Subject : To understand the lesson is to discuss.
- Object : He went to make money.

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