Causative verbs: Let, Make, Have, Get, Help
The causative verbs let, make, have, get, help are called ‘causative’ verbs because they cause something to happen. As such, these verbs are used in a causative sentence structure.
Causative verb LET
Meaning: allow someone to do something.
Structure: Let + person/thing + verb
We couldn’t let our daughter adopt a kitten because she’s allergic to cats.
My brother let me use his computer when mine broke down.
Sarah never lets anyone tell her what to do.
Causative verb MAKE
Meaning: force or require someone to do something.
Structure: Make + person + verb
They make students exercise regularly.
John’s mum made him eat his dinner.
His parents tried to make him be a better person.
Causative verb HAVE
Meaning: give someone the responsibility to do something.
Structure: Have + person + verb
We had a painter paint our appartment.
Sheila had a hairdresser do her hair.
Paul had a mechanic fix his car.
Causative verb GET
Meaning: convince/persuade someone to do something.
Structure: Get + person + to + verb
Jane got her son to help her with the dishes.
She got her boyfriend to buy her an expensive ring.
I got my neighbor to help me carry my suitcase.
Causative verb HELP
Meaning: give aid to someone in doing something.
Structure: Help + person + (to) verb
Note: (after “help” you can use the infinitive with to (to do) or bare infinitive (do).
Helen helped me (to) do my homework.
A cup of coffee in the morning helps me (to) wake up.
My colleague helped me (to) write my CV.
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