Unit 9.1

Let and Make 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: get, have, let and make.

Form

Let and Make and  have the same position in the sentence.

Make can also be used as the verbs require and force: in this case, we need to make sure that we are using them with the preposition to.

Let can also be used as the verbs allow and permit: in this case, we need to make sure that we are using them with the preposition to.

Their structure is:
Let/Make + person + verb + …
Allow/Permit/Require/Force + person + to + verb + …

Example

  • They let him ask a question to the professor.
  • My mother allowed me to drink some wine.
  • She let her young brother consult his wife.
  • They make young kids treat animals well.
  • She forced him to buy a bouquet of flowers for his mother.
  • Female marine animals force male marine animals to get food for them.
  • He made the stray cats act good.

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 let to give the permission/possibility to somebody to do something.
  • We use make to underline that the subject has the power of influencing someone else to do something.

Summary

Make and let are some of the causative verbs and show the reason why something took place.

We use let: to give the permission/possibility to somebody to do something. We can also use it as the verbs allow and permit: in this case, we use them with the preposition to.

We use make: to underline that the subject has the power of influencing someone else to do something. We can also use it as the verbs require and force: in this case, we use them with the preposition to.

Their structure is:

  • We place let or make orafter the subject of the sentence, and then we have a person, followed by the verb, and then the rest of the sentence.
  • We place require, force, allow or permit after the subject of the sentence, and then we have a person, followed by the preposition to and the verb, and then the rest of the sentence.

For example:
— “I let my son help me with dinner preparation.”  / “I allowed my son to help me with dinner preparation.”= I gave the permission to my son to help me (because he wanted to).
— “I made my son help me with dinner preparation.” “I forced my son to help me with dinner preparation.” = My son was forced to help me (although he didn’t want to).

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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