EN: dare (to) + infinitive

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by titegiv, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. titegiv New Member

    All is in the title!

    Should I say: who dare to challenge me? or who dareS to challenge me?

    who dare challenge me? is not correct, isn't it? we have to put "to" after dare...

    Thanks a lot !

    Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2013
  2. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    "To dare" is one of those semi-modals that may be followed either by a bare infinitive (like a true modal), or by a to-infinitive (like a normal verb).

    Since you are asking a question -- Qui ose...? -- your "who" is a 3rd person singular subject pronoun (just as in French). And so you need a 3rd person singular conjugation...

    --> Who dares (to) challenge me?

    The word "to" is optional. The meaning is not affected by your choice. To my ear, the sentences are interchangeable.
  3. quinoa Senior Member

    Shouldn't we say :
    "He dares to challenge me" versus " he dare challenge me" ?
  4. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    As Jann said, it's dares in either case.
  5. quinoa Senior Member

    In France it is taught that need and dare used without to are considered auxiliaries and don't have "s" in the third person as is said here.
  6. Coq

    Coq Senior Member

    Français (Belgique)
    What about "How dare you do that?"
    For the 3d person it will be "How dares he do that?" ?
  7. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    According to the TFD:
  8. totallylost202

    totallylost202 Senior Member

    Tamworth/Cardiff, UK
    England, English
    No. Dare in the 3rd person singular is he/she dares. The inversion keeps this, just like it would in French

    (Sorry for any confusion beforehand, I'm busy but wanted to help and made a mistake in haste. I read too quickly!)
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  9. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    No. In this case, one says: How dare he do that?

    I've never thought about this before. Perhaps it is usually dare for the third person, but it doesn't work for who. :confused:

    How dare she say such a thing?
    He dare not show his face this morning.
    Who dares (to) face me with only a sling?

    It would also seem that to is only possible if it directly follows the verb dare.

    All this is only conjecture. I really don't know!!!
  10. marget Senior Member

    I would say "How dare he do that"? I agree with quinoa and geostan.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  11. freevillage Member

    The rule is you say either

    Who dares to do that?


    Who dare do that?

    However, dare is one semi-modal verb that people routinely misuse in everyday speech at least here in the US. If you learn English I would suggest sticking with the "to" form.
  12. totallylost202

    totallylost202 Senior Member

    Tamworth/Cardiff, UK
    England, English
    I read it too quickly. Apologies! geostan, thanks for pointing it out. :p

    I completely agree with you. It can't be how dares he do that.

    *changes post*
  13. catherinem Member

    English - US
    I second "How dare he," but in speaking I wouldn't say "How dare he do that!"
    Rather, I would simply say, "How dare he!"
  14. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    With or without to, the only possible form here is dares.

    As for Catherinem's suggestion, this would only work for that question. With any other verb, you would need the whole sentence. See my examples above.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  15. CapnPrep Senior Member

  16. radagasty Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    Australia, Cantonese
    Hmm... I want to disagree here, for if to dare is used as a full verb, i.e., conjugated dares, it cannot be followed by a bare infinitive. However, a quotation from Macbeth comes to mind:

    I dare do all that may become a man:
    Who dares do more is none.

    Of course, Shakespearean English is not contemporary English, but it still makes me uncomfortable. (That who here is not an nterrogative pronoun is irrelevant.) I would probably opt for Who dares to... myself.
  17. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    My observation had to do with the choice of dare vs dares, not with the issue of to or its omission. I would use the preposition, but I am not prepared to say that its omission is incorrect.
  18. radagasty Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    Australia, Cantonese
    Mine likewise, but I don't see that the two issues are unrelated, since which form you choose depends on whether you're using dare as a modal or a full verb, which in turn determines whether the full or the bare infinitive follows, and therefore the presence/absence of to.
  19. drassum Senior Member

    french - france/île de la Réunion

    Quelqu'un pourrait-il m'indiquer si, en fin de phrase, le verbe "dare" est nécessairement suivi par "to+base verbale":
    "I wanted to call her but I didn't dare".
    "I wanted to call her but I didn't dare to".
    "I wanted to call her but I didn't dare to call/to speak to her".

    D'avance merci pour votre aide.
  20. Franglais1969

    Franglais1969 Senior Member

    English English, français rouillé

    Personally, none of the suggestions sound natural to me. I think I would say something like:

    I didn't dare call her, even though I wanted to.

    I'll let others explain the grammar etc to you, but I am afraid that I could never see myself saying any of your three examples.
  21. Omelette

    Omelette Senior Member

    UK English
    Hello, Drassum. I think, in terms of grammar, all your options are correct. Obviously, your option #3a - "I wanted to call her but I didn't dare to call her" - sounds rather repetitive and would normally be avoided. :)
    There is no need to follow 'dare' with 'to' in those structures. But it wouldn't be wrong either.
    You could say either '...but I didn't dare' or '...but I didn't dare to'. Both seem very natural to me.
    (Similarly, in Franglais' example, you could choose between 'I didn't dare call her' and 'I didn't dare to call her'.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2013

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