I am a bit confused whether bare Infinitive is used after 'but' or not.
Which one is correct?
We want nothing but to be free.
We want nothing but be free.
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The "but" is a red herring; it is distracting you from the actual grammar pattern
Consider these example
We want be free.
We want to be free.
I hope you agree that "want" requires a "to-infinitive"
If I insert an adverb phrase
We want nothing but to be free
I still need a "to-infinitive".
On the other hand:
I did cry.
I did to cry.
I hope you recognise that "did" uses the "bare infinitive". Adding an adverb "nothing but" doesn't change that
I did nothing but cry.