Is it grammatically correct to use a verb with -ing after an helping verb like "might" like so?

"It might make people feeling bad".

If it's not, is it a rule which applies to all of the helping verbs?

  • 2
    Your example isn't a good one for using ing after might. Feel is in simple form because of make not might. If you'd like to use ing after might, you need to use a form of be as in he might be watching TV.
    – Yuri
    Oct 12 '16 at 16:32
  • 3
    @Yuri Note however that in your example, too, might does not govern the -ing form watching. It governs the infinitive be, and that in turn governs the -ing form -- in this case using be to form a progressive construction rather than a passive construction. Oct 12 '16 at 16:36
  • What do you mean by governing ? Oct 12 '16 at 16:37
  • @StoneB That's correct though easier to understand as a rule of thumb.
    – Yuri
    Oct 12 '16 at 16:44
  • 1
    @GforOevOerD governing in easy language is the jurisdiction of a word over other words around it ;) feel is governed by make means it's under the influence of make.
    – Yuri
    Oct 12 '16 at 16:45

The modal verbs can/could, may/might, must, shall/should, will/would always take unmarked infinitive verbforms—that is, infinitives without to markers—as complements, never any other form.

In your example, however, the verb which the modal governs is not feel but make, which is correctly cast in infinitive form.

Feel is governed by make; and this use of make meaning cause or compel also takes an unmarked infinitive verbform as its complement. You must therefore say

... make somebody feel bad.

  • Although in the passive make takes a to-infinitive instead: I was made to feel bad.
    – user230
    Oct 12 '16 at 17:17
  • 1
    @snailplane A salutary reminder that English is like WW: "Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)" Oct 12 '16 at 17:19
  • @StoneyB: you can't expect readers of this site to know that WW means Walt Whitman!
    – TonyK
    Oct 12 '16 at 17:25
  • @TonyK At least two of them do. Oct 12 '16 at 17:30
  • @TonyK: It's not a problem. Even as a native speaker honours graduate in English I didn't recognise the Whitman quote, but googling just the first 4 words easily fills that potential gap in my knowledge. And we know that almost every user viewing this page has the wherewithal to do that search themselves just as easily as me. By tomorrow, I might have forgotten this attribution anyway, since I know I can easily retrieve it whenever I might need to in the years (decades, I'd like to hope! :) to come. Oct 12 '16 at 18:34

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