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Jan 21

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Causative verbs – Get, Have, Make, Let, Help

We use causative verbs to show that someone or something caused something to happen. Causative verbs are: get, have, make, let and help.

Here is what you need to know about the causative in English.

Try a quick quiz to practice the causative!

Causative # 1 – HAVE/GET SOMETHING DONECausative

This means that someone does something for you because you pay or ask them to do it , but you don’t say who this person is.

Examples:

HAVE / GET
SOMETHING DONE
He had / got his hair cut.
She didn’t have / get her teeth checked.
I had / got the leak in the roof fixed.
Did you have / get the TV repaired?

 

Causative # 2 – HAVE SOMEONE DO SOMETHING

This means that someone does something for you because you pay or ask them to do it, but you also say who this person is.

Examples:

HAVE
SOMEONE DO SOMETHING
The teacher had the students write a test.
I’ll have my assistant call you with the details.
I had the handyman fix the leak.
Did you have the electrician repair the TV

 

Causative # 3 – GET SOMEONE TO DO SOMETHING

This means someone does something for you because you persuade (= encourage, tell them that you’d like them to do something)  them to do it. So this construction feels less neutral than the previous ones.

Examples:

GET
SOMEONE TO DO SOMETHING
I (finally) got my kids to go to bed.
I can never get my wife to cook dinner.
Can you ever get your sisters to stop fighting?
Kevin got his brothers to take him on an adventure.

 

Causative # 4 – MAKE SOMEONE DO SOMETHING

This means that you force someone/something to do something for you.

Examples:

MAKE SOMEONE/SOMETHING DO SOMETHING
You make your hips sway.
Don’t make her (Sarah) cry.
The teacher made him (Peter) work hard.
Why do you make them (your parents) worry so much about you?

 

Causative # 5 – LET SOMEONE/SOMETHING DO SOMETHING

This means that you allow ( = let, give permission to do something) someone to do something or you allow something to happen.

Examples:

LET SOMEONE/SOMETHING DO SOMETHING
She let the kids stay up past midnight.
I let the chicken burn in the oven.
Why did he let this happen?
Let me go!

Causative # 6 – HELP SOMEONE (to) DO SOMETHING

 

This means that you help ( = assist) someone (to) do something. This structure is most often used without ‘to’.

Examples:

HELP SOMEONE (to) DO SOMETHING
Milk can help you fall asleep.
Could you help me carry my bags?
I don’t see how this helps them understand the lesson.
Can computer games help kids learn to read?

Related posts:

The Causative Quiz 1

The Causative Quiz 2

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