Bid him do it. This sentence seems awkward.

Would it not make more sense to write Bid him to do it.

I thought that bid could be changed to ask but the aforementioned sentence implies otherwise.

  • 4
    The reason your example is "awkward" is because almost nobody uses bid in this sense today. But back when it was in use the associated verb (referencing something someone was bade do, if you can stand to read such an awkward sequence! :) was normally given as an unmarked infinitive (i.e. - the "infinitive marker" to wasn't normally included). Just don't use it yourself! – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jul 27 '18 at 12:00

The usage bid + personal pronoun + verb infinitive is correct but somewhat literary.

Bid verb
If you bid someone do something, you ask or invite them to do it. [literary]
They all smiled at him and bade him eat. [VERB noun infinitive]
I dare say he did as he was bidden. [be VERB-ed]

Bid (Collins)

'Bid', when used this way, can often be replaced by 'ask to' but when it was more widely used it could also be used to describe an instruction e.g. to a servant or subordinate - I bid my maid bring me some tea, or a strong suggestion - John was soaked from the rain and I bid him go indoors and get dry. When we wish to suggest that A is in fear or awe of B and is obedient in a cowardly or deplorable way, we can still say that A does B's bidding.

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