Causative Verbs - English Grammar - Let, Make, Have, Get, Help
Let, make, have, get, and help are called causative verbs because they cause something else to happen.
Allow or permit something to happen.
LET + PERSON / THING + VERB (base form)
- I don’t let my children watch violent videos.
- Ibrahim’s father won’t let him go on picnic.
- Our boss doesn’t let us eat lunch at our desks.
- Oops! I got busy watching movie while cooking, and I let the food burn.
- Don’t let children play prank in the class.
Note: The past tense of let remains let; there is no change!
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 children to watch violent videos.
- Our boss doesn’t permit us to eat lunch at our desks.
Force or require someone to do something.
- MAKE + PERSON + VERB (base form)
- After i broke the neighbor’s window, my parents made me pay for it.
- Her mother made her clean the room.
- The teacher made all the students prepare for the exams.
Note: When using the verbs force and require, we must use to + verb.
- The company requires the employees to work harder.
“Require” often implies that there is a rule.
- He forced me to drive fast.
“Force” often implies violence, threats, or extremely strong pressure
Give someone responsibility to do something.
There are two ways to use have.
- HAVE + PERSON + VERB (base form)
- HAVE + THING + PAST PARTICIPLE OF VERB
Examples of structure #1:
- I'll have my secretary send you the forms.
- My father had me take him to the doctor.
Examples of grammatical structure #2:
- I’m going to have my hair cut on Sunday.
- We’re having our house painted this Month.
- Ibrahim had his teeth whitened.
- My washing machine is out of order; 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 on Sunday.
- We’re getting our house painted this weekend.
- Ibrahim got his teeth whitened.
- My washing machine is out of order; I need to get it repaired.
We use 'GET' to convince or encourage someone to do something.
- GET + PERSON + TO + VERB
- I got the waitress to bring us some menus.
- I am getting my sister to send me a picture of her new house.
- Mother got him to clean the house before the party.
- How can parents get their children to read more?
We use 'HELP' to assist someone in doing something.
There are two ways to use HELP.
- HELP + PERSON + VERB (base form)
- HELP + PERSON + TO + VERB
After “help,” you can use “to” or not – both ways are correct. In general, the form without “to” is more common:
- He helped me complete my work.
- He helped me to complete my work.
- Eating healthy and exercising helps me control my stress.
- Eating healthy and exercising helps me to control my stress.