WHAT ARE CAUSATIVE VERBS
The English verbs let, make, have, get, and help are called causative verbs because they cause something else to happen.
⇒ Here are some specific examples of how causative verbs work in English sentences.
HOW TO USE CAUSATIVE VERBS IN ENGLISH
Means 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.
Remember: The past tense of let is also let; there is no change!
Note: 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.
2. 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.
Note: 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
3. HAVE = Give Someone Else the Responsibility to Do Something
HAVE + PERSON + VERB (base form)
HAVE + THING + PAST PARTICIPLE OF VERB
Examples of grammatical structure #1:
I’ll have my assistant call you to reschedule the appointment.
The businessman had his secretary make copies of the report.
Examples of grammatical structure #2:
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.
Note: In informal speech, we often use get in these cases:
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.
4. 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.