To know when to use a verb with or without "to" depends always on the verb that precedes it? I am aware that after modal verbs and in imperative sentences the verb is used without the "to", Are there any other reasons for using the verb without "to"?

  • A verb used with "to" is the infinitive form. I'm confused by your question, because the times when you would use the infinitive form are much less common than the times when you wouldn't. Your name seems somewhat Spanish. If your native language is Spanish, think of the times when you use the infinitive and the times when you don't. English is somewhat similar. – joiedevivre May 27 '18 at 2:16
  • Dear joiedevivre, I thank you for your answer, however I always thought that it was the other way around, I mean that most of the time we use the infinite form, Example: "To sleep" and in fewer cases one has to use the verb in its basic form: "Sleep". Could I be that wrong? – claudio sepulveda May 27 '18 at 2:50
  • Yes, I think that is wrong. You didn't correct me about Spanish, so it's like this hablar espanol es bueno = to speak Spanish is good. The infinitive translates to the infinitve. But hablo espanol = I speak Spanish. The conjugated verb form in present tense English is (except in third-person singular) the base verb form without to. Another example of infinitive: me gusta dormir = I like to sleep. Again infinitive to infinitive. – joiedevivre May 27 '18 at 3:04
  • I may be misunderstanding your question, though. If your question is only about when "to" can be left off after other verbs like modals, then there are only a few other specific verbs. – joiedevivre May 27 '18 at 3:08
  • YES! Dear joiedevivre, that´s it. I guess the form I asked my question was not the best, sorry. One has to leave the "to" off for example after modal verbs, in imperative sentences (sleep, rest and then drive!) and after auxiliary DO (You don´t speak much - she does speak German), sometimes after object pronouns but not always (she'll make us repeat our lines - she will coerce us to do it.) after personal pronouns but not always (they travel all the time)I find it very confusing, I have looked in the web for some kind of rule, but without much success. Thank you for your pacience, – claudio sepulveda May 27 '18 at 16:42

since you tagged bare infinitives I think the basic form of the verb can be used without to.

I made him laugh

I saw him go.

i noticed somebody come in

He let me go.

I desire that he visit us soon(subjunctive mood)

I hope he comes soon.( simple present)

I suggested that he go( subjunctive mood)

He did go ( emphasis)

He does speak(emphasis)


I think you must mean "the verb that follows it .."

that said: I am going to drive to Belgium I'll be driving to Belgium .. tomorrow

when using the verb in a simple declaration one precedes it with "to", otherwise one uses the conjugated form.

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