phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Help to or without to?

Posted by Bob on March 25, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Help to or without to? posted by R. Berg on March 25, 2003

: : In British English, there is always "to" between help and the verb immediately after it e.g. I would help you to find him. However, it seems to me that in American English, in most cases when a verb is needed after help, a bare infinitive/infinitive with to is used, e.g. I would help you find him. Nonetheless, sometimes I do see North Americans use "to" after help like the British. What is the rule in North America, if any? Thanks.

: If there's a rule, it isn't widely publicized. More formal (academic) writing is likely to use "to" after "help," but I haven't seen a statement that omitting "to" is wrong. A grammar site linked below (http://www.voy.com/115845/14.html) says "help" MAY be followed by "to."

It must be part of our (American) drive to trim and snip words out to achieve greater efficiency and higher words-per-gallon in our verbal machinery. The other obvious example is the British "I would have done" clipped and polished down to the American "I would have." On either side of the pond, the "wrong" version sounds odd.