Mastering Causative Verbs: Let, Make, Have, Get, Help

Causative verbs are ones that cause something else to happen. Examples of causatives are the verbs let, make, have, get, and help.

How To Use Causative Verbs In English

LET = Permit Something To Happen

Grammatical structure: LET + PERSON/THING + VERB (base form)

  • I don't let my children play video games during the week.
  • She won't let her sister borrow her car.
  • Our teacher doesn't let us use our phones in class.

MAKE = Force Or Require Someone To Take An Action

Grammatical structure: MAKE + PERSON + VERB (base form)

  • My parents made me clean my room before going out.
  • The boss made the employees work overtime.
  • The coach made the team practice for hours.

HAVE = Give Someone Else The Responsibility To Do Something

Grammatical structure:

1. HAVE + PERSON + VERB (base form)


Examples (structure 1):
  • I'll have my assistant book the flight tickets.
  • She had her brother fix the leaking faucet.
  • They had their neighbor water the plants while they were away.
Examples (structure 2):
  • We're going to have our car serviced next week.
  • He had his house cleaned before the guests arrived.
  • She had her dress altered for the special occasion.

GET = Convince/Encourage Someone To Do Something

Grammatical structure: GET + PERSON + TO + VERB

  • They managed to get their parents to buy them a new video game.
  • She couldn't get her friend to come to the party.
  • We need to get the team to work together for better results.

HELP = Assist Someone In Doing Something

Grammatical structure:

HELP + PERSON + VERB (base form)


After "help," you can use "to" or not – both ways are correct.

  • He helped his sister carry the groceries.
  • She helped her friend to prepare for the exam.
  • They helped their neighbors move into the new house.
Grammar Lab
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