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I was watching an episode of big bang theory and someone told his mother "you don't want to see your little bird leave the nest". Why he didn't say leaves?

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  • Your little bird is not the subject of leave, but instead the object of see.
    – Archa
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 0:39
  • I don't get it. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 0:39

2 Answers 2

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I might be wrong, but I think that verb "See" uses bare infinitive when it takes an object and to infinitive. So it's like this:

you don't want to see your little bird (to) leave the nest.

But to is not shown, and is not supposed to be shown, because it's bare infinitive.

http://www.englishgrammar.org/bare-infinitive/ Something information about bare infinitive

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After verbs like see, feel, hear, .... ( verbs related to senses) you can use either a Verb+ing or a bare infinitive. The latter implies a completed action and the former implies an action which was(is) in progress. compare:

I saw him climbing the wall

This means the observer saw the process of the climbing, but it does not mean the observer saw the whole process.

I saw him climb the wall

This means the observer saw a completed process, from start to end, in which the climber climbed the wall successfully.

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