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  • Susan "Zuzu" Skelly

Is it “help to” or just “help”?

Have you ever had your teacher cross out the “to” after the word “help” and wondered why?

Or maybe you’ve wondered the opposite – why did my teacher add “to” after the word “help”?



Both ways are correct.

It’s common to omit “to” in everyday speech and informal writing.

I helped make dinner.

They helped me figure out the homework assignment.

That game helps children learn about shapes and colors.


And it’s common to add “to” in formal speech and writing.

Studies have shown that this type of exercise can help to alleviate frequent headaches.

Research indicates that green lights can help to reduce stress.

Returning crop residue to the soil helps to prevent excessive soil loss.


So, if your teacher took it out or put it in, it’s probably because they felt it would better match the style or tone of your writing.

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