Causative verbs

Causative verbs can be used to express a causal relationship between the subject and the object in a sentence. They come with the following sentence structures:

  • Subject + make + agent + verb (base form) + object
    Angela made John repair her watch.
  • Subject + get + agent + to + verb (base form) + object
    Angela got John to repair her watch.
  • Subject + have + agent + verb (base form) + object
    Angela had John repair her watch.
  • Subject + get/have + object + past participle +…..
    Angela got her watch repaired.
  • Subject + let/help + agent + verb (base form) + object
    Angela let John repair her watch.



The word ‘causative’ has the meaning of ‘someone causes someone to do something’. Some other verbs that are used to show causation are: let, help, cause, persuade, etc. Causative verbs in a sentence determine the forms of other verbs of that sentence. Read the following examples:
The teacher made her students do their homework.
The health workers are trying to get people to stop smoking.
I had the mechanic check the brakes.
Did you get your room painted last week?
They let him wear a new dress.
She helped me write a letter.

Here is a conversation with causative verbs:

A : Yesterday was a bad day for me.
B : Really! What happened?
A : The teacher made me complete my work after school. It nearly took me thirty minutes.
B : Why did he force you to stay after school?
A : Because I hadn’t done my homework, and he made me do it before I left.
B : Poor you!
A : That wasn’t so bad. My bicycle punctured while returning home from school. I was looking for a mechanic to have my bicycle repaired but there wasn’t any nearby.
B : Oh, what did you do then? Did you have anyone help you?
A : Yes, I found a mechanic. When I went there, I realized I had no money.
B : Did the mechanic repair the puncture then?
A : Yes, I requested him a lot and finally got him to repair my bicycle.
B : Thank, God! You got it done anyhow.



Uses of causative verbs:

  • Causative verbs can come in any tenses.

He makes/make/will make/is making/has made/made somebody cook food.
He gets/get/will get/is getting/has got/got somebody to cook food.
He has/ have/had/will have/is having/had had  somebody cook food.






















  • In the passive structure, the causative verb ‘make’ comes with ‘to + base form’.
    The students were made to stay after class by the teacher.


Also visit: