Basic causative structures
[coverattach=1] There are two basic causative structures. One is like an active, and the other is like a passive. These examples use the causative verb "have":
I had John fix the car.
(I arranged for the car to be fixed by John -- I caused him to fix it.)
I had the car fixed.
(I arranged for the car to be fixed by someone. We don't know who, so this is like a passive.)
let + PERSON + VERB
This construction means "to allow someone to do something."
John let me drive his new car.
Will your parents let you go to the party?
I don't know if my boss will let me take the day off.
make + PERSON + VERB
This construction means "to force someone to do something."
My teacher made me apologize for what I had said.
Did somebody make you wear that ugly hat?
She made her children do their homework.
have + PERSON + VERB
This construction means "to give someone the responsibility to do something."
Dr. Smith had his nurse take the patient's temperature.
Please have your secretary fax me the information.
I had the mechanic check the brakes.
get + PERSON + to + VERB
This construction usually means "to convince to do something" or "to trick someone into doing something."
Susie got her son to take the medicine even though it tasted terrible.
How can parents get their children to read more?
The government TV commercials are trying to get people to stop smoking.
Get vs. Have
Sometimes "get someone to do something" is interchangeable with "have someone do something," but these expressions do not mean exactly the same thing.
I got the mechanic to check my brakes.
At first the mechanic didn't think it was necessary, but I convinced him to check the brakes.
I had the mechanic check my brakes.
I asked the mechanic to check the brakes.
Causative (Make, Get, Have, Let, Help)
(1) Causative Make
- make can be used as a causative
- Use verb word after a person or thing (No infinitive,No -ing form)
* make + person + verb word
* make + thing + verb word
(ex) I make this radio work.
(ex) I can make your friend work part time in this summer vacation.
(2) Causative Get
- get can be used as a causative
- Use an infinitive after a person and use a participle after thing (No verb word)
* get + person + infinitive
* get + thing + participle
(ex) I got my friend to help this homework.
(ex) I get my house repaired before this winter.
(3) Causative Have
- have can be used as a causative
- Use verb word after a person and use a participle after thing
* have + person + verb word
* have + thing + participle
(ex) I have my car fixed.
(ex) My English teacher had me give oral speaking.
(4) Causative Let
- let can be used as a causative
- let means a person gives permission for another person to do it.
- Use a verb word after a person or thing (No -ing form, No infinitive)
* let + person + verb word
* let + thing + verb word
(ex) I can let this car cool.
(ex) Would you let me join your party?
(5) Causative Help
- help can be used as a causative
- let means a person assists another person to do it.
- Use a verb word or infinitive after a person (No -ing form)
* help + person + infinitive
= help + person + verb word
(ex) I helped her to pack the luggage.
(ex) Would you help me deliver this box?
Causative verbs show that somebody/something is indirectly responsible for an action. The subject doesn't perform the action itself, but causes someone/something else to do it instead. For example:
- Yesterday I had my hair cut.
I didn't cut my own hair, but I made someone else do it for me instead - I "caused" them to cut my hair.
Have is a common causative verb. Instead of doing something ourselves, we "have" someone else do it instead. It has the following form:
The verb "to have" + object + past participle. For example:
- I had my jacket cleaned yesterday.
- Did you have your computer fixed?
Sometimes we use have as a causative verb when we intend to perform the action ourselves. For example:
- When will the report be ready? I'll do it by tomorrow morning. >>
- When will the report be ready? I'll have it done by tomorrow morning.
By using the causative the second sentence takes attention away from the doer of the action, and gives more attention to the action being done. It sounds polite and professional.
Get is often used instead of have. For example:
- I got my computer fixed - I had my computer fixed. These two sentences mean the same thing.
- I got my jacket cleane. - I had my jacket cleaned. These two sentences mean the same thing.
Causative verbs are often used with negative experiences. In these situations it's more common to use have. For example:
- I had my wallet stolen. (I didn't actually cause my wallet to be stolen - someone stole my wallet from me)
- She had her window smashed.
CAUSATIVES AND THEIR USAGES
There are mainly three verbs of causative . They are MAKE , HAVE and GET . They can be used to express the idea that "x" causes "y" to do something . When they are used as causative verbs their meanings are similar but not identical . We can examine the causatives in two groups :
1. Active meaning
2. Passive meaning
1. ACTIVE MEANING
MAKE : MAKE SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING
Causative MAKE is followed by the simple form of a verb , not an infinitive . MAKE gives the idea that "x" forces "y" to do something .
The second lieutenant made the soldiers clean the floor.
In this sentence, the second lieutenant forced the soldiers to clean the floor , and the soldiers had no choice .
Example sentences :
She made the little boy cry. ( Simple Past )
The robbers are making the teller open the safe box. ( Present Cont. )
Erol will make the kids wash the windows before going out. ( Simple future )
I'll make you love me again. ( Simple Future )
Could we make Ali stop the noise. ( modal )
The doctor had made the patient remain in the hospital longer than the second time. ( Past Pef. )
The general makes the soldiers marsh every night. ( Simple Present )
Burhan was about to make me sell my car. ( Future in the past )
HAVE : HAVE SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING
Causative HAVE is followed by the simple form of a verb , not an infinitive . HAVE gives the idea that "x" requests" (or employs ) "y" to do something .
I will have the barber cut my hair.
In the sentence above , the barber will cut his hair because he will ask him to do .
Example sentences :
I had the plumber repair the leak . ( Simple Past )
My mother has my father clean the chimneys every year . ( Simple Present )
We can have the gardener plant some flowers here . ( modal )
I ** having the children tidy their room . ( Present progressive )
Are you going to have your son send the petition ? ( Going to future )
We were having the men do the job . ( Past Progressive )
We won't have that barber cut our hair again . ( Simple Future )
Please have Dr. Watson wait . ( Imperative )
GET : GET SOMEBODY TO DO SOMETHING
Causative GET is followed by an infinitive , GET gives the idea that "x" persuades ( or employs ) "y" to do something . When compared , GET is more colloquial than HAVE .
The child got his father to buy a bike.
In this sentence, the child managed to persuade his father to buy him a bike.
Example sentences :
Mary has spent all her pocket money . She will get her father to give her some more . ( Simple Future )
I didn't get a cleaning woman to sweep the floors . ( Simple Past )
They must get the immigration officials to extend their visa . ( Modal )
Who is getting his friends to play soccer with him after school ? ( Present Progressive )
I could not get my teacher Burhan Peynirci to translate the letter into Turkish . ( Modal )
The teacher usually gets us to write a composition every week ( Simple Present )
Is she going to get her boy friend to buy her a car ? ( Going to future )
Peter has been trying to get Helen to get marry him for years . ( Present Perfect )
2. PASSIVE MEANING
HAVE SOMETHING DONE / GET SOMETHING DONE
The Past Participle is used after HAVE and GET to give a passive meaning . In this case , there is little or no difference in meaning between HAVE and GET .
Example sentences :
I had the barber cut my hair . ( active )
I had my hair cut ( by the barber ) ( passive )
She will get a repairman to repair her watch . ( active )
She will get her watch repaired ( by a repairman ) ( passive )
Must we get a translator to translate the documents from Russian into Turkish ? ( active )
Must we get the documents translated from Russian into Turkish ( by a translator ) ? ( passive )
He does not have the porter take up his luggage . ( active )
He does not have his luggage taken up ( by the porter ) ? ( passive )
NOTE : In some cases ( when things happen to us ) , "have something done" suggests the person was quite innocent , and "get something done" suggests that the person was partly responsible for what happened to him .
I had my watch stolen last week .
He got his nose broken in a fight last week .
BE MADE TO DO SOMETHING
The passive form of MAKE is different from the others . As in the active form , "Make" gives the idea something is forced to do.
Example sentences :
My father made me cut my hair . ( active )
I was made to cut my hair ( by my father ) . ( active )
The nurse has made my grandmother stay in bed for ten days . ( active )
My grandmother has been made to stay in bed for ten days ( by the nurse ) ( passive )
A GENERAL NOTE FOR ALL THE CAUSATIVES : Questions in the causative form are formed with the helping verbs ( do-does-did ? ) Have should not be confused with them .
Had Mary any letters typed yesterday ? ( incorrect )
Did Mary have any letters typed yesterday ? ( correct )
In some cases , "let" can be used as a causative verb. The patterns are as in the following:
1. ACTIVE MEANING : LET SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING
Example sentences :
They didn't let me go with them.
She let us use her telephone.
A good boss lets his workers rest from time to time.
Stop the ball ! Don't let it roll into the street.
I haven't let my son eat ice cream.
2. PASSIVE MEANING: TO BE LET DO SOMETHING LET SOMETHING BE DONE
Example sentences :
The teacher usually lets the children play some games in the class .
1. The teacher usually lets some games be played ( by the students ) in the class .
2. The children are usually let play some games ( by the teacher ) in the class .
You should let your son Ali wash the car .
1. You should let your son Ali wash the car .
2. You should let your car be washed ( by your son Ali )
They let us leave early ( active )
We were let leave early . ( passive )
NOTE : "LET" can't normally be used in passive sentences . Instead , we use "allow to "
After questioning , he was let go . ( NOT normal )
After questioning , he was allowed to go . ( normal )
B. HAVE SOMETHING HAPPEN
We can use "have" in this pattern with the meaning "experience something" , often something unpleasant .
We had our passports stolen.
The car has had its aerial pulled off.
The tourists are having their luggage searched in customs.
C. HAVE SOMEBODY DOING SOMETHING
We use this form in the meaning of teach , persuade or encourage.
I will have you driving in three days. (=I will teach you to drive in three days.)
He had them all dancing. (= He taught them all to dance)
I have them all talking to each other. (=I encourage/persuade them all to talk to each other)
Will they really have people speak English in two months?
(= Will they really teach people to speak English in two months?)
* ... won't have somebody doing something ... " means " ... won't/allow this"
I won't have them sitting down to dinner in his overalls .
(= I don't/won't allow him to sit down to dinner in his overalls )
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