Coffee makes my stomach burns/burn (') | SpanishDict Answers
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Help please!

Coffee makes my stomach burns/burn (')

Should I use burn or burns? Why?

Thanks!

  • Posted Jun 11, 2009
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18 Answers

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El café me da ardores (version for Spain) wink

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Thanks Lazarus. What I want to know is about the right way of using "burn" since I assume "stomach" as "it" I add an "s" at the end of "burn", however a friend of mine told me that sounds weird.

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Toni:

The correct sentence in English is:
"Coffee makes my stomach burn".

I cannot give you the technical grammatical reason for this answer. But I would not say, for example, that "Fire makes the wood burnS" or "Excessive sun makes my skin burnS". In all these examples, the correct word is "...makes the wood... or ... makes my skin BURN (NO "S")". Perhaps an English grammarian will give you the technical answer.

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it does seem contradictory to the fact that a singular subject should require burns.

My best guess would be that it is because the sentence means:

Fire makes/causes the wood to burn

Coffee makes/causes my stomach to burn

Don't ask me why we abbreviate the infinitive.

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Sometimes it helps to think in Spanish:

El café hace mi estómago arder

The reason it is burn, not burns, is because the verb is in the infinitive, as the Spanish sentence clearly indicates. Why the 'to' gets dropped though, I know as much as qfreed...

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Hola Toni: Usamos en este caso lo que se llama gramáticalmente hablando :

Bare infinitive (infinitivo sin "to")

BARE INFINITIVE. An INFINITIVE without to (win rather than to win), used: (1) After modal verbs: I must go. (2) In the pattern verb of perception plus object plus infinitive: We heard the door bang. (3) With some verbs: Let go; Help me do this; Make them pay. (4) After rather than and sooner than: I'll go without rather than pay so much. (5) In cleft sentences: All I did was ask.

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Después de "make" va el objeto y después el verbo en infinitivo, pero sin "to". Ejemplo: don't make me laugh (no me hagas reír).

Creo que también "cause" funciona en el mismo sentido, pero al mirarlo en el diccionario me aparece con "to".

to cause sb/sth TO + INF hacer' que algn/algo + SUBJ; their criticism caused him to resign sus críticas motivaron or provocaron su renuncia, sus críticas hicieron que renunciara;

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"coffee makes my stomach burn" (el café hace que mi estómago arda)
"coffee made my stomach burn" (el café hizo que mi estómago ardiese)

Al cambiar el tiempo de "make" por "made" también cambia el tiempo de subjuntivo.

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Después de "make" va el objeto y después el verbo en infinitivo, pero sin "to". Ejemplo: don't make me laugh (no me hagas reír).

Creo que también "cause" funciona en el mismo sentido, pero al mirarlo en el diccionario me aparece con "to".

to cause sb/sth TO + INF hacer' que algn/algo + SUBJ; their criticism caused him to resign sus críticas motivaron or provocaron su renuncia, sus críticas hicieron que renunciara;
Yes. The usual discussions of the "bare infinitive" refer to its use after "modal" verbs. Unfortunately there are other verbs (beside those usually identified as "modal") with which this happens. It's more a question of language custom than of logic. As you point out, "cause" and " make" (in this context, although it can mean other things) mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably (except that after "cause" we use the "normal" infinitive, while after "make" we use the "bare" infinitive).

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"coffee makes my stomach burn" (el café hace que mi estómago arda)

"coffee made my stomach burn" (el café hizo que mi estómago ardiese)

Al cambiar el tiempo de "make" por "made" también cambia el tiempo de subjuntivo.
But that's the main verb in the sentence. it's reasonable/natural that the main verb should reflect person/tense/mood.

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Help please!

Coffee makes my stomach burns/burn (')

Should I use burn or burns? Why?

Thanks!

"Coffee makes my stomach burn" is correct. However you can alter it slightly and say "When I drink coffee, my stomach burns". An interesting question. Why the change? I have no idea. But then again, grammar is not my strong point.

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Hola Toni: Usamos en este caso lo que se llama gramáticalmente hablando :

Bare infinitive (infinitivo sin "to")

BARE INFINITIVE. An INFINITIVE without to (win rather than to win), used: (1) After modal verbs: I must go. (2) In the pattern verb of perception plus object plus infinitive: We heard the door bang. (3) With some verbs: Let go; Help me do this; Make them pay. (4) After rather than and sooner than: I'll go without rather than pay so much. (5) In cleft sentences: All I did was ask.

Me gustaría saber qué significa "pattern verbs" y "cleft sentences".

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Hola Toni: Usamos en este caso lo que se llama gramáticalmente hablando :

Bare infinitive (infinitivo sin "to")

BARE INFINITIVE. An INFINITIVE without to (win rather than to win), used: (1) After modal verbs: I must go. (2) In the pattern verb of perception plus object plus infinitive: We heard the door bang. (3) With some verbs: Let go; Help me do this; Make them pay. (4) After rather than and sooner than: I'll go without rather than pay so much. (5) In cleft sentences: All I did was ask.

Me gustaría saber qué significa "pattern verbs" y "cleft sentences".

Hi Nila
This should be a separate question. Could you please open it as a new thread.

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My first reaction was to do the same as Heitor: to show that in Spanish it is practically the same construction. You don't say:

El café me hace arde el estómago

but

El café me hace arder el estómago

using a infinitive ("arder"). The problem in English is that "ardo", "ardes", "arder" and all the rest (except "arde") look exactly the same, so it is harder to spot an infinitive as such. To make things worse, in English, the second non-finite verb (the infinitive) rarely appears right after the first verb ("to make"), giving the impression that they are not connected in any way. These constructions are classified under "multi-word verbs", because they behave as a single unit, but they require several words; this includes phrasal verbs, prepositional verbs,... Like in Spanish "suelo comer", where one verb is an auxiliary one, "make + burn" form a single "entity".

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As far as I am concerned "make" here expresses the subjunctive. It's the same idea as:

I would rather he travel to Paris than Rome, the bare infinitive being used here as well.

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