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I know that most verbs take infinitive while some take bare infinitive, e.g.
I allow her to go. - but -
I let her go. (not to go)
Can anyone think of any reason why such irregularity exists?
Thanks.

Ricky
Comments  
I think here "let" is a modal auxiliary, and except for "ought to", they are followed by a bare infinitive. You'll find the same construction after "help", "make" (causative), and perhaps others, but I don't know the explanation for it, just that it's a grammar rule Emotion: smile
Hello Anon

"Let" is one of causative verbs that take the construct of [<verb> <sb> <do>]. "Have"and "make" belong to the same class of causative verbs. "Allow", "cause", "force", "get", and "permit" are also causative verbs, but they take the construct of [<verb> <sb> <to do>]. "Help" is also kind of causative verb and it can be used either way.

paco

[PS] Pieanne, I think we had better not to take "let" as a modal auxiliary, because we can say like "You can let your son play in the backyard".
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I see your point, Paco, thanks Emotion: smile Yet, I don't understand "let" as "causative"... Why not say it's a transitive verb (synonym of "allow") that requires a bare infinitive? But I'm not a grammar pro...
PieanneWhy not say it's a transitive verb (synonym of "allow") that requires a bare infinitive? But I'm not a grammar pro...
True. "Let" is certainly a transitive verb that requires a bare infinitive. I myself don't know the exact definition of "causative verbs". Please give me a time to ponder about it.

paco
Hi Paco2004,

In the given context, I wonder if we can say "Please give me some time.." instead of "Please give me a time".
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Hello Krish

I googled “Please give me a / some time to ..”. “Please give me a time to …” hits 137 pages and “Please give me some time to …” hits 575 pages. The pages using the former appear to be written by non-native English speakers. So maybe you are right and I was wrong. A more idiomatic expression will be “Please give me time to …”. It hits 23,000 pages. Anyway thank you for the kind comment.

paco
Paco2004"Let" is one of causative verbs that take the construct of [<verb> <sb> <do>]. "Have"and "make" belong to the same class of causative verbs. "Allow", "cause", "force", "get", and "permit" are also causative verbs, but they take the construct of [<verb> <sb> <to do>]. "Help" is also kind of causative verb and it can be used either way.

What about want? Is it causative too?

I want you to stay here. [verb + sb + to do]
No. "want" is not causative. No matter how hard you want something, you can't thereby make it so.
One of the fancier names for verbs like "want" is "desiderative verb"!

CJ
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