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Re: Help to or just help? Or even help in...

Posted by TheFallen on June 02, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Help to or just help? posted by R. Berg on May 31, 2003

: : : : Am I right that the British always use "to" between help and the verb after it e.g. "I hope the story will HELP you TO UNDERSTAND the point.", while Americans always skip the "to" between help and the verb after it, e.g. "I hope the story will HELP you UNDERSTAND the point."?

: : : No, Americans sometimes use the "to."

: : Then how do you decide when to use "to" and when not to use it?

: "To" is usually present in formal or academic writing and often absent in informal writing. I think it's nearly always absent in speech. Saying "Help me to lift these boxes" would sound stilted.

As stated above, Brits use both ways, and I'm unconvinced as to what the "rule" (if any) is. Of course, there's also the "help...in" construction - "I hope the story helps you in understanding the point."