assisted me <to realize> or <in realizing>?

High on grammar

Senior Member
Farsi
Hello everyone:

I believe “ assisted me to realize” in the following sentence should be “ assisted me in realizing”

Images of our dancing took hold and tears began to flow. Mary assisted me to realize that my feelings were normal.

Called To Happiness
By Dorothy Sicard


What do you guys think?

Thanks.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    We don’t normally use the verb assist in that way. It’s much more appropriate for formal contexts, such as assisting the police with their enquiries or assisting at an operation. The normal word would be help: Mary helped me realize…
     

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    We don’t normally use the verb assist in that way. It’s much more appropriate for formal contexts, such as assisting the police with their enquiries or assisting at an operation. The normal word would be help: Mary helped me realize…
    So, you're saying that Dorthy Sicard has used a sloppy grammatical structure here, which is kind of what I am saying. But my real point here is that we don't say "assist someone to do something"; the preposition that "assist" takes is "in".


    As in "He assisted me in solving the problem."
     
    Last edited:

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I just took a look at your link. The author of that autobiograpy (which is mainly about her religious faith) is clearly not a professional writer.

    Yes, the standard construction is to “assist someone in doing something”, but even then, the verb assist would only be used in a formal context. It’s also used with a noun: “assist someone in their efforts, work, search, etc.” I would never use the infinitive form with assist, although it’s fine with help.

    This earlier thread is well worth a look: Can you assist someone to do something?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The publisher is one of those "self-publishing" affairs.

    The output of such publishers is rarely worth reading, and you shouldn't expect it to have been passed by a professional editor.
     
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