"It helps me understand" or "It helps me to understand".

Discussion in 'English Only' started by betwing, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. betwing New Member

    Russian
    Hello everyone!

    Could anyone please explain which structures that always sonfuse me are correct and why?

    1.
    It helps me understand
    It helps me to understand.

    2.
    I baught a thesaurus to help me improve my writing.
    I baught a thesaurus to help me to improve my writing.

    3.
    Don't allow bad thoughts keep you up all night long.
    Don't allow bad thoughts to keep you up all night long.

    I have a feeling that I should use to in 1th and 3th examples, and in 2nd example the correct sentence is the first one, but I cant find a rule that explains it.
     
  2. Zone

    Zone Senior Member

    France, French
    Hello

    "to help" can be followed indifferently by a complete infinitive or simply the verb without "to" with no difference in meaning.

    In examples 1 and 2, you can use the "to" or omit it (which is my personal preference.)

    In example 3, the "to" is mandatory because the verb here is not "to help", but "to allow", which has to be followed by "to":

    Don't allow bad thoughts to keep you up...;

    Omitting the "to" here is a mistake.
     
  3. Edinburgher Senior Member

    Scotland
    German/English bilingual
    I agree with Zone. The "to" is optional in 1 and 2, mandatory in 3. If you changed 3's "allow" to "let", then you would have to omit "to".
     
  4. betwing New Member

    Russian
    Thank you! In other words, I have to omit the "to" when I use modals, I may omit the "to" when I use "to help", and I have to use the "to" when it goes after any other verbs?
     
  5. Edinburgher Senior Member

    Scotland
    German/English bilingual
    It's not as simple as that, and 'let' doesn't really fall into the usual definition of a modal verb.
     

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