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The Coast Guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons

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The Coast Guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2010, 21:53
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The Coast Guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons can be trained to help find survivors of wrecks
at sea.
(A) to see whether pigeons can be trained to help find
(B) to see whether pigeons can be trained as help to find
(C) to see if pigeons can be trained for helping to find
(D) that see if pigeons are able to be trained in helping to find


whats the diffrence in the meaning of A and B ?
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Re: using the infinitives [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2010, 22:36
I don't understand how come "find" can follow to help without any modification, i think finding is a better option.

can someone clarify how this to help find is true

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Re: using the infinitives [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2010, 09:07
hirendhanak-

This is just one of those fun things about language, I suppose. Anytime you have the word "to help", the word that comes after it should be in the subjunctive tense (i.e. the infinitive with the word "to" removed).

For example:

"Can you please help me cook?"
"Can you help me answer this question?"

"Can you help me to cook" would be right when translated into certain languages, but not in English.

Other verbs that typically require this construction include can, must, and will:

"I can tell you the answer."
"I will run five miles later."
"You must try this cake!"

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Re: using the infinitives [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2010, 09:52
Expert's post
In A - can be trained to help find - is a literary form of elliptical writing where the infinitive to is dropped to obtain some cogency. Imagine the expression - can be trained to help to find – not very elegant, I feel. Here are some examples

For many aspirants, MGMAT SC is the Bible [highlight]to help solve[/highlight] many SC questions

750 in GMAT will be the best ladder [highlight]to help reach[/highlight] the corridors of the Whartons and the Harvards


Structurally – help – in B is used as a noun following the preposition - as -, the meaning of which is – assistant or associate or aide etc.
Its problem is that it is not very idiomatic to say - trained as help -

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Re: using the infinitives [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2010, 15:28
Idiomatically, Help + As is wrong.
Correct Help exressions is:
- Pigeons can [be trained ] help find survivors Or
- Pigeons can [be trained ] help Cost-Guards to find Survivors.

In Short, Use 'To' after help only if the 'To' is preceded by the Object[Noun]

Additionally, in B 'Help' is used as a Noun, in this sentence that is an incorrecet usage of help [It should be used as Noun]

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Re: using the infinitives   [#permalink] 23 Oct 2010, 15:28
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