A bear goes over the river.

I can see a bear go over the river.

Are the sentences above correct? If the sentence has "can", goes will become to go?

enter image description here

  • 2
    It doesn't depend on can, it depends on see.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 6:32
  • Can explain why "see" make the changes? and what other word will change goes to go?
    – JJ12345
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 6:38
  • Over sound odd to me as to a non-native speaker. Should not it be across? Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 7:19
  • 1
    @SovereignSun over suggests that the bear crosses the river without touching the water, as you can see in the illustration. Across would suggest that the bear traversed the river by swimming.
    – D. Nelson
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 7:37
  • 1
    @SovereignSun the tree log lies over the river, the bear walks/goes over the river, (without getting wet) across could imply that the bear was in the river and walked from one side of the river to the other.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 9:42

1 Answer 1


As Glorfindel noted, this is due to see, not because of can. This is a common construction in English. Other verbs that have the same effect include observe, watch, hear, feel.

There's a good explanation here: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/verb-patterns/hear-see-etc-object-infinitive-or-ing

  • How about citing something from the webpage? Links can change, rot or become broken over time...
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 9:37

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