help improve or help to improve?

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Senior Member
The verb 'help' is used in different ways.

1. It helped improve their speaking skills.
2. It helped them improve their speaking skills.
3. It helped them to improve their speaking skills.

All the above sentences are correct, right? Is there other possible structure? How about this?

4. It helped to improve their speaking skills. I think it's not correct. I need my guess confirmed. Thank you!
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    They are all OK.
    The versions including them are probably better because they emphasise the speaker's role in the improvement.
    I much prefer (3), but I often include the little words that others happily omit.


    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    For me, #3 is the best choice.
    I usually see "help" + "to", but is it also correct to say "It helps improving..."?

    Thanks for clarifying!


    Senior Member
    English UK
    All four are correct. If you put help to into Dictionary Look-up, you'll find previous threads on this.

    EDIT: PS to Tanthalas - no, you need an infinitive (with or without to) after help.
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