intervening noun phrase

An ELL post says

Another place where bare infinitive is preferred is when there is an intervening noun phrase as in help people break the cycle of poverty.

I guess "break the cycle of poverty" is the "intervening noun phrase".

So, what is "intervening noun phrase"?

I searched on ELL and got 6 hits, none gives a clear explanation about the concept itself.

I also searched on google, Cambridge Dictionary, no luck.

1 Answer 1


No. The "intervening noun phrase" is people.

"Intervening noun phrase" is not an established grammatical term. The writer is using it literally: a noun phrase which comes between (the "help" and the infinitive).

  • People is a phrase, can't believe it. I mean, I believe you. Thank you. If I call it "Intervening noun", every one can still get what I refer to, right?
    – WXJ96163
    Mar 4, 2020 at 0:03
  • @WXJ96163: the point is that it could have been any noun phrase: this one happens to consist of a single noun, but the structure is not limited to that. It could easily have said help disadvantaged people break the cycle of poverty.
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 4, 2020 at 10:04

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