helping students to put/put

esl student

Senior Member
Spanish-Mexico
I am not sure whether I should use the infinitive or the base form of the verb.

This activity is aimed at helping students to put/put into practice what they learned in the books,cds and dvds.


Thank you.
 
  • fenixpollo

    moderator
    American English
    You're translating from Spanish into English, right? We're confused because you didn't show us the original text in Spanish... and because this is a translation forum, after all.

    To my mind, you can use either the base form or the infinitive in this sentence. They both sound correct to me.
     

    junglefingers

    Member
    English - United States
    The base is correct and the infinitive is wrong. This is because "to" is never used after any form of "help." Furthermore, the infinitive sounds wrong to me. So:

    This activity is aimed at helping students put into practice what they learned in the books, CD's, and DVD's. :tick:

    This activity is aimed at helping students to put into practice what they learned in the books, CD's, and DVD'S. :cross:

    I hope this helps!
     

    gladnhart

    Senior Member
    Am English
    ESL Student,
    This is the correct forum to ask questions about grammar.
    The verb "help" may be followed by either the "to" form or the base form of a verb.
    Desafortunadamente, no hay reglas por esto, se debe memorizar cada verbo.
    ¡Buena suerte!
     

    junglefingers

    Member
    English - United States
    I think that only the base form of a verb can follow "help." For example, if one is asking for assistance, only "Help me do this." is correct, and not "Help me to do this." Perhaps in the example being discussed, both sound correct to the ears; but, still only one is correct.
     

    Agró

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Navarre
    "Help can be followed by an object and infinitive with or without to - the structure without to is more common in an informal style:

    Can somebody help me (to) find my ring?
    Help me (to) get him to bed.
    "

    From Michael Swan, Practical English Usage. OUP.

    I helped him (to) find his things.
    (The omission of to is more usual in US than in GB usage)
    Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English.
     

    gladnhart

    Senior Member
    Am English
    Maybe it is regional. I have lived on the East Coast and the West Coast of the United States, and I have heard both the "to" form and the base form used after "help." I will grant you, Junglefingers, that the base form is used more frequently, but not exclusively.
    ESL Student: It is up to you to decide.
     

    fenixpollo

    moderator
    American English
    In this case, I think junglefingers has a good point about "help", because it sounds better to me to use the base form, not the infinitive.

    In this case, "help" is followed by the set phrase "to put into practice". It sounds better to keep that phrase intact, even though in other contexts, I would say that a base form of a verb would follow "help".
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Hello

    Some do see a semantic distinction in omitting and adding “to” following help. One source that comes to mind is A Semantic Approach to English Grammar, by R.M.D. Nixon.
    The idea is that the omission of “to” suggests a direct link between the main clause and the complement clause, so that in the activity is aimed at helping students put into practice, the activity directly helps students, as if it were a cooperative effort. By contrast, in …helping students to put into practice, “to” suggests an indirect link: the activity enabled or made it easy for the students to act. (Nixon uses as one example: John helped me write the letter vs. John helped me to write the letter.) However, it’s fair to say that in many cases there is no clear-cut distinction between a direct and an indirect link and the choice of adding or omitting “to” after help is purely stylistic.

    Cheers
     

    acirea222

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Hello

    Some do see a semantic distinction in omitting and adding “to” following help. One source that comes to mind is A Semantic Approach to English Grammar, by R.M.D. Nixon.
    The idea is that the omission of “to” suggests a direct link between the main clause and the complement clause, so that in the activity is aimed at helping students put into practice, the activity directly helps students, as if it were a cooperative effort. By contrast, in …helping students to put into practice, “to” suggests an indirect link: the activity enabled or made it easy for the students to act. (Nixon uses as one example: John helped me write the letter vs. John helped me to write the letter.) However, it’s fair to say that in many cases there is no clear-cut distinction between a direct and an indirect link and the choice of adding or omitting “to” after help is purely stylistic.

    Cheers
    WOW! That's very interesting. As a native English Speaker, I don't think we really are aware of such a distinction.
     

    gladnhart

    Senior Member
    Am English
    Yes, SevenDays' very precise exposition would satisfy the philologist or semanticist. On the other hand, the beginning ESL student need not be concerned too much about the distinction.
     

    FromPA

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I think that only the base form of a verb can follow "help." For example, if one is asking for assistance, only "Help me do this." is correct, and not "Help me to do this." Perhaps in the example being discussed, both sound correct to the ears; but, still only one is correct.
    Either way sounds fine to me. Can you cite any support for your position?
     
    Hello,

    WOW! That's very interesting. As a native English Speaker, I don't think we really are aware of such a distinction.
    I agree - and I'd suggest that that's because no such distinction really exists.

    Consider the following two sentences:

    John helped me load the heavy box into the trunk of the car.
    John helped me to load the heavy box into the trunk of the car.

    Can anybody really suggest that there is some subtle substantive difference in meaning between these two sentences? In both sentences, I needed to load a heavy box into a car trunk, and John helped me do it.

    I'd have to agree with those who have said that it's a matter of personal preference, and that the construction without the word to is the most commonly heard in American English.

    Saludos...
     

    gladnhart

    Senior Member
    Am English
    Again, you are very clear, Spug. (But then being from Northern New Jersey and having lived in Virgina, Hawaii, California and the Pacific Northwest, I have heard a good bit of variety in American speech patterns.)
     
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