How to Use Causative Verbs

LET = Permit Something To Happen

    • LET + PERSON/THING + VERB (base form)

I don’t let my kids watch violent movies.
Mary’s father won’t let her adopt a puppy because he’s allergic to dogs.
Our boss doesn’t let us eat lunch at our desks; we have to eat in the cafeteria.
Oops! I wasn’t paying attention while cooking, and I let the food burn.
Don’t let the advertising expenses surpass $1000.

The verbs allow and permit are more formal ways to say “let.” However, with allow and permit, we use to + verb:

I don’t allow my kids to watch violent movies.
Our boss doesn’t permit us to eat lunch at our desks.

MAKE = Force Or Require Someone To Take An Action

    • MAKE + PERSON + VERB (base form)

After Billy broke the neighbor’s window, his parents made him pay for it.
My ex-boyfriend loved sci-fi and made me watch every episode of his favorite show.
The teacher made all the students rewrite their papers, because the first drafts were not acceptable.

When using the verbs force and require, we must use to + verb.

The school requires the students to wear uniforms.
“Require” often implies that there is a rule.

The hijacker forced the pilots to take the plane in a different direction.
“Force” often implies violence, threats, or extremely strong pressure

HAVE = Give Someone Else The Responsibility To Do Something

    • HAVE + PERSON + VERB (base form)

I’ll have my assistant call you to reschedule the appointment.
The businessman had his secretary make copies of the report.
I had the electrician look at my broken light.
The doctor will have the nurse call the patients.
The teacher had the students write the answers on the whiteboard.
I’m going to have my hair cut tomorrow.
We’re having our house painted this weekend.
Bob had his teeth whitened; his smile looks great!
My washing machine is broken; I need to have it repaired.

GET = Convince/Encourage Someone To Do Something

    • GET + PERSON + TO + VERB

How can we get all the employees to arrive on time?
My husband hates housework; I can never get him to wash the dishes!
I was nervous about eating sushi, but my brother got me to try it at a Japanese restaurant.
The non-profit got a professional photographer to take photos at the event for free.
She gets her son to do his homework by promising him ice cream when he’s finished.
I got the cleaner to clean under the cupboards.

I’m going to get my hair cut tomorrow.
We’re getting our house painted this weekend.
Bob got his teeth whitened; his smile looks great!
My washing machine is broken; I need to get it repaired.
The students get their essays checked.
I’ll get my hair cut next week.
He got his washing machine fixed.

HELP = Assist Someone In Doing Something

    • HELP + PERSON + VERB (base form)

He helped me carry the boxes.
He helped me to carry the boxes.
Reading before bed helps me relax.
Reading before bed helps me to relax.


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