Use of Infinitive


Is the use of 'move' as bare infinitive, as a book suggest, correct here?


Will you help me move the bookcase?

Infinitives Verbs asked Mar 20 '12 at 12:12 Rahul Gupta Expert

2 answers


Hi Rahul, 

I'm not sure what you mean by a 'bare infinitive', but the sentence you have provided is correct.


Technically it should be: "Will you help me to move the bookcase?" but "Will you help me move" is perfectly acceptable. 

link answered Mar 20 '12 at 12:31 Siân Harris Expert

A bare infinitive is one that omits 'to'. After a little research, the only consistent rule I could find is that the sentence must be in active voice.

Lewis NeidhardtMar 20 '12 at 12:40

Good stuff, Lewis. In the passive, "to" is necessary.

TolleyMar 20 '12 at 13:33

Verbs are of two types: Finite (affected by the gender/number of subject or Tense) and Non-Finite (not affected at all).The Non Finite verbs are Participles and infinitives(Full infinitive i.e. to go and Bare infinitive go).As Sian Harris Said Technically " move..." if it is so how "...move..." can be acceptable?

Rahul GuptaMar 20 '12 at 16:58

English, like most languages, continues to evolve, as societies change and develop. At the same time, there are differences in the way we use language depending on context; while I can be quite chatty and relaxed with you here on the forum, I would use a different tone if I were writing a formal academic paper or letter to the bank manager. "Will you help me move something" is perfectly acceptable English when spoken (except perhaps to the Queen, but then you'd have bigger problems), and has been in use for so long that it has become acceptable in written language too. I would avoid it in the most formal of writings, but then I would avoid the words 'you' and 'me' in those too. Again, you'd have different problems if you were trying to put that question into a formal paper. Does that help clarify it?

Siân HarrisMar 20 '12 at 18:40

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Yes, it's correct.  Interrogative (question) sentences tend to be somewhat complicated, but your sentence is written correctly.

link comment answered Mar 20 '12 at 12:29 Erik Czerwin New member

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