I'll never know what makes the rain to fall.

I have read a post about make something to+verb /make something+verb?

The answers shows the above sentence is correct, but when I paste it to a grammar checker website, it prompts to delete the infinite "to". So it becomes the following:

I'll never know what makes the rain fall.

  • 11
    The construction with to was once common, but is now archaic.
    – Peter
    Oct 12, 2021 at 4:10
  • 7
    One thing to understand about English is that there are often grammatically correct ways to say something, which just aren't the way a native speaker would normally say them - unless trying to be poetic or something.
    – jamesqf
    Oct 12, 2021 at 16:07
  • 1
    ''I'll never know what makes the rain fall'' is completely correct but rather poetic, it could almost be the title of a short story by Ray Bradbury.
    – Tom
    Oct 12, 2021 at 20:24
  • 1
    I would consider "make the rain to fall" rather "poetical. Is this from a song?
    – user247327
    Oct 12, 2021 at 21:01
  • 1
    It's perfectly valid, but very poetic. Nobody would say this in everyday conversation, but if the piece you're working on is particularly artistic/longing/wistful, this could be beautifully appropriate.
    – neph
    Oct 12, 2021 at 21:36

3 Answers 3


The usual construction with "make" has the bare infinitive "makes the rain fall".

The construction with a "to" infinitive is old fashioned and now seems a little poetic. It is used, for example, in the long poem "the rime of the ancient mariner"

For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.

In modern English, you would not use "to".

I'll never know what makes the rain fall.

  • 23
    Note that the poem was actually old-fashioned even when it was written 200 years ago. The poet is creating the effect of an "ancient" sailor telling a story, and this sailor uses patterns of speech that were already dated.
    – James K
    Oct 12, 2021 at 5:26
  • 9
    The quoted line seems to have been constructed to scan as iambic pentameter. Oct 12, 2021 at 12:31
  • 1
    Precisely what @Phil said: The "to" is needed for meter. Oct 12, 2021 at 16:03
  • 4
    Not sure there are any pentameters here, but I think that the second verse is an iambic trimeter (three feet).
    – gosbi
    Oct 12, 2021 at 19:29
  • 3
    Hey, spoiler alert! Oct 13, 2021 at 1:00

As James K says, you would not normally use "makes ... to ...".

However, without changing the meaning you could say "I'll never know what causes the rain to fall." Following "causes", the "to" is necessary.


Pretty sure I've seen constructions like "maketh the mountains to tremble" in the Bible. The proper KJV one, I mean.

  • 5
    Proper as opposed to....? Oct 13, 2021 at 11:50
  • 3
    So you recommend replacing "makes" with "maketh"? Or, in general, writing in the style of the KJV Bible?
    – David K
    Oct 13, 2021 at 13:09
  • Does "proper" include including the johannine clause?
    – user21820
    Oct 13, 2021 at 20:06
  • 1
    It's a typo. He meant propper, as in something to prop up a short table leg. Oct 14, 2021 at 12:57

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