“Help learn” or “help to learn” English?
Some of the phrase structures could be very confusing. There are many instances we can refer to, like cleft sentences, but one of the most underrated ones in English is whether we should add “to” after "help". If you are a beginner who wants to learn correct English grammar, you may have the same problem while studying.
Sometimes you may hear people say, "Let me help him do this" or "Let me help him to do this." You should be aware that native English speakers don’t always use correct grammar. How can we be sure that we are using the correct form? Using the right grammar is very important especially when you are planning to sit for the IELTS exam. In this article, we want to clear this up once and for all. Make sure you don't miss anything.
Infinitive form of verbs
With the word “help,” you must have an infinitive verb. Both are correct, and it depends on how frequently each type is used. There are two main types of infinitives in the formation of verbs:
For example: “Help me to do this.”
- Bare infinitive.
For example: “Help me 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.
The correct way to write this sentence should be help + person + verb. The following are more examples of bare infinitives:
- Help him study.
- Help John practice his English.
- Help me solve this problem.
What if there is no "person" in our sentence, and we want to know which one is correct, Help + verb or Help + to + verb? Let's look at the examples in our chart to find out.
As you can see, there is close competition between the two structures. The fact is that, although both infinitive forms of verbs are correct, it all depends on the verb and how frequently it is used. For the verb "learn,” the most common way to say it 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 prefer to use the bare infinitive. So, use the bare infinitive if you are struggling with which one to use.
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