Causative verbs: let, make, have, get, help

The verbs let, make, have, get and 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

Example sentences:

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

Example sentences:

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

Example sentences:

We had a painter paint our appartment.

Sheilla 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).

Example sentences:

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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