“Help learn” or “help to learn” English?
Some of the phrase structures could be very confusing, ther are many instances we can refer to like cleft sentences but one of the most underrated ones in English is to know whether we can have “to” after help or not. If you are a beginner and want to have a firm understanding of proper English grammar you may have encountered the same issue during your study.
Sometimes you hear people say; let me help him do this, or let me help him to do this. Given that native English speakers don’t always use correct grammar, how can we be sure that we are using the correct form especially if you are preparing for IELTS exams. Here in this article we want to clear this out once for all.
Infinitive form of verbs
With the word “Help” you must have infinitive verb, there are two types of infinite verbs, one is to-infinite and the other is bare infinite, in simple word it is optional and both are correct and it depends on how frequently each type is being used, here are the examples:
Help me do this.
Help me to do this.
These two sentences are both correct but if we look at the chart from Google to find the winner we can confidently conclude that “help me do this” is more common and widely used.
So the correct way of this sentence is Help + person + verb, which is a bare infinite, more examples here:
Help him study.
Help John to practice English.
Help me solve this problem.
Now what if there is no “person” in our sentence and and we want to know which one is correct, Help + verb is correct or Help + to + verb, lets see the examples in our chart.
As you can see there is close competition between the two structures, the fact is although both infinitive forms of verbs are correct, it all depends on the verb and how frequently it is being used. For the verb “learn” the most common way to say is “help to learn” and also for the verb “do” the most widely spoken form is “ help do something”.
You should note that native speakers mostly rather use bare-infinitive, so bare-infinitive would be your safe side if you don’t know which form to consider.
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