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Hello

During one great period of immigration -- between 1891 and 1920 -- our nation received some 18 million men, women and children from other nations. The hard work of these immigrants helped make our economy the largest in the world. The children of immigrants put on the uniform and helped to liberate the lands of their ancestors. One of the primary reasons America became a great power in the 20th century is because we welcomed the talent and the character and the patriotism of immigrant families.

This is a part of President Bush's speech made on 7, JAN, 2004. What I would like to ask you is whether the collocation "help make" is grammatical. I learned the collocation "help someone (to) make" but I haven’t learned "help make" (without "someone"). I know this collocation is idiomatic in current English, but as far as I know, no dictionary and no grammar book explains such use of "help". So I'd like to know how to understand the grammar of "help make"

paco
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Hi Paco,

A couple of initial thoughts. Is 'help make' not just the same as 'help to make', with the 'to' omitted? You could just as easily say The hard work of these immigrants helped to make our economy the largest in the world. I also see the 'someone' as optional. eg Tom helped to make dinner seems fine to me.

After writing this, I've now looked up 'help' in Swan's Practical English Usage, Section 289 in my edition. He simply says that it is also possible to use help + no object + bare infinitive, eg Would you like to help peel the potatoes?

Isn't 'help make' just the same as 'Help + pretty well any infinitive'?

I guess you are looking for a deeper analysis?

Best wishes, Clive
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CliveAfter writing this, I've now looked up 'help' in Swan's Practical English Usage, Section 289 in my edition. He simply says that it is also possible to use help + no object + bare infinitive, eg Would you like to help peel the potatoes?
Thank you, Clive! Yes, indeed, Swan's "Basic English Usage" gives the same explanation. I missed that article!

By the way, do you feel any difference between the two below?
(1) The hard work of these immigrants helped us make our economy the largest in the world.
(2) The hard work of these immigrants helped make our economy the largest in the world.

paco
Hi again,

do you feel any difference between the two below?
(1) The hard work of these immigrants helped us make our economy the largest in the world.
(2) The hard work of these immigrants helped make our economy the largest in the world.


Yes, definitely. The 'us' in #1 includes 'us' as agents in the process. In #2, that's not explicit - perhaps it was the immigrants and World War II that were the agents, and not 'us'.

Clive
CliveHi again,

do you feel any difference between the two below?
(1) The hard work of these immigrants helped us make our economy the largest in the world.
(2) The hard work of these immigrants helped make our economy the largest in the world.


Yes, definitely. The 'us' in #1 includes 'us' as agents in the process. In #2, that's not explicit - perhaps it was the immigrants and World War II that were the agents, and not 'us'.

Clive
Thank you, Clive. I didn't know that kind of "agent-less" causative construction. Very interesting. Thank you again.

paco
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