How to Use Causative Verbs-English Grammar Lessons

Causative verbs-The English verbs let, make, have, get and help are causative verbs because they cause something else to happen.

How to use Causative verbs-

Let- Permit something to happen



  • I don’t let my kids watch violent movies.
  • My boss doesn’t let me eat lunch at my desk.

Note- The past tense of “Let” is also “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 kids to watch violent movies.
  • My boss doesn’t permit me to eat lunch at my desk.

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.
  • 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

HAVE = Give Someone Else The Responsibility To Do Something

  • HAVE + PERSON + VERB (base form)


  • I’ll have my assistant call you to reschedule the appointment.
  • The businessman had his secretary make copies of the report.
  • 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.

GET = Convince/Encourage Someone To Do Something



  • How can we get all the students 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.


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