Please tell me about Bare infinitives in detail and make me understand with Examples....

Also tell me which of the below sentence is correct and why...
1. I can't help smoking
2. I can't help smoke

Which one is correct out of the two....??

Give me more examples of Bare Infinitives with their demo sentence..


4 Answers


Josep 4650


The first one is correct. Why? Some structures or expressions require the ING form and one of them is 'Can't help'. We use the ING form after 'Can't help' because if you add the ING suffix to a verb you get a noun (Smoke - smoking). You just need to add the ING because you want to say that you 'CAN'T HELP SOMETHING'.

Other structures or expressions include 'Can't stand' for example.

Hope it helps.


"can't stop" is very frequent as well.


Astheart 2940

A bare infinitive is the infinitive without the marker "to". Your question concerns the usage of infinitives. Well, the problem is not easy because it needs to be learnt by heart. There is a group of verbs after that ing-forms are used, and there is a group of verbs that need the usage of infinitives. As far as I know the only verbs that are followed by bare infinitives are "to let, to make" in "let/make sb DO stg". There is also a group of verbs that can be followed by infinitives OR ing-forms. As I have said, you must learn them by heart.


Astheart 2940

Agreed, Joseph, the bare infinitive in the example is just "help", and it is because all modals are followed by bare infinitives.


  • I can't help smoking


Because... I'm addicted :/


// extra:

  • I can't quit smoking
  • I can't give up smoking

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