Unit 9.1

Have and Get as Causative verbs

Verbs

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Introduction

Causative verbs are verbs that show the reason why something took place.

The causative verbs are: have, get, make and let.

Form

The structure of have and get, include both present perfect and past perfect:

Have

The structure of the sentence is:
… + have + object + past participle of verb + …
… + have + object +
base form of verb + …

Get

The structure of the sentence is:
… + get + object + past participle of verb + …
… + get + object + to + verb + …

Example

  • You are going to have the natural flower planted today.
  • The teacher will have the students study on the exam including astronomy.
  • They had their house built two years ago.
  • I will get the doctor to give you a medicine.
  • John got his elder child to wash his car.
  • They were too afraid of petting the stray dog but their mother got them to pet it.

Use

Subjects in causative verbs don’t do the action by themselves but someone else does it for them. They cause something else to happen in a way.

  • We use have to give someone the responsibility to do something;
  • We use get to persuade somebody to do something. It has the same meaning of have, but get is less formal.

Summary

Have and get are some of the causative verbs and show the reason why something took place.

Have:

  • Is used to give someone the responsibility to do something;
  • In a sentence, it is followed by an object and the past participle of the verb or the base form of the verb.

Get:

  • Is used to persuade somebody to do something. It has the same meaning of have, but it’s less formal;
  • In a sentence, it is followed by an object and the past participle of the verb or the preposition to and the verb.

For example:
— “I will have my hair cut* tomorrow.” /  “I will have my friend cut my hair tomorrow.”  = Someone else has the responsibility to cut my hair.
— “I will get my hair cut* tomorrow.”  / “I will get my friend to cut my hair tomorrow.” = I persuaded someone else to cut my hair.
♦ “I have to cut my hair tomorrow.” = Have to as a modal, expresses a strong obligation and not a cause.

* The verb cut is irregular and forms the past participle as the base form of the verb.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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