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Causative verbs (Grammar)

English Grammar

Causative verbs


The causatives are the verbs that are used to indicate that one person causes another person to do something for the first person. One can cause somebody to do something for him/her by asking, paying, requesting, or forcing the person. There are mainly three causative verbs. They are make, have and get. But some verbs like let (allow/permit) and help also have the structure like causative verbs.


1.     Have

Structure 1: Subject + have (any tense) + agent (usually person) + V1 +……

Krishna had Arjun clean the classroom.

He always has me do his work.

Mina will have Ram repair her scooter.

Structure 2: Subject +have (any tense)+ object (usually thing) +V3 +……

Nirmal had his car washed.

The barber always has my hair trimmed.

Mina will have her scooter repaired.


2.     Get

Structure 1: Subject + get (any tense) + agent (usually person)to+V1 +…….

He always gets me to do his work

Krishna got Arjun to clean the classroom.

Mina will get Ram to repair her scooter.

Structure 2: Subject + get (any tense)+object (usually thing)+ V3 +…

He always gets his work done.

Krishna got the classroom cleaned.

Mina will get her scooter repaired.

3.     Make

‘Make’ is stronger than ‘have/get’. It constitutes only one structure as it does not take anything ‘passive’ as its object. 

Structure: Subject + make (any tense) + agent (always person) + V1 + ..…..

Krishna made Arjun clean the classroom.

He always makes me do his work.

Mina will make Ram repair her scooter.

Robert made me beat that little child.  


According to the grammar rules and structures, there are two more similar verbs that are not causative verbs by definition but they constitute similar sentence structures. They are Let and Help.


4.     Let

‘Let’ means ‘allow/permit’ but the use of ‘let’ in the sentence is different from these words.

Structure: Subject + let (any tense) + object (always person)V1 +……

Shyam let me escape the prison. 

He lets me go.

The teacher let the students discuss in the classroom.  

The verb ‘permit’/’allow’ does not follow this structure. It follows the regular sentence pattern of English language.

Structure: Subject + permit/allow + object + infinitive +……..

John allowed him to drive his car.

He always allows him to do that.

The teacher allowed me to sit for the exams. 


5.     Help

Help is not actually a causative verb either but is generally regarded as a causative verb because of its grammatical use in a sentence. It has two structures.

Structure 1: Subject + help (any tense) + object (usually person) + V1/to+V1+. . .

They helped her clean her house.

They helped her to clean her house.

My brother helps me do my homework every night.

My brother helps me to do my homework every night

He helps me prepare my presentations.

He helps me to prepare my presentations. 


(With help verb to+V1/V1, both are used but to+V1 is taken as more common)


1. Subject + get/have + object + V3 + (by agent)

2. Subject + get + agent + to V1 + ………

3. Subject + make/have + agent + V1 +……….

4. Subject +let + agent+ V1

5. Subject +help + agent+ V1/to+V1.

For Connectives CLICK HERE.

For Conditional Sentences CLICK HERE.


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