Causatives: Have, Make and Get – Complete Explanation

English Grammar

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Well, in this occasion, I will give explanation about Causatives: Have, Make and Get.
Do you ever hear about this material before? If you are not, please pay attention my explanation about this material and read this material carefully. Oke, check this out.

Causatives: Have, Make and Get

We use a causative verb when we want to talk about something that someone else did for us or for another person. It means that the subject caused the action to happen, but didn’t do it themselves. Maybe they paid, or asked, or persuaded the other person to do it.

Causative verbs express an action which is caused to happen. In other words, when I have something done for me I cause it to happen. In other words, I do not actually do anything, but ask someone else to do it for me. This is the sense of causative verbs.

For example, we can say:

  • I cleaned my house. (This means I cleaned it myself).

If I paid someone to clean it, of course I can say:

  • A cleaner cleaned my house.

But, another way is to use a causative construction. So I can also say:

  • I had my house cleaned.

In a sense, using a causative verb is similar to using a passive. The important thing is that the house is now clean. We don’t focus on who did the cleaning.

Have + object + past participle (have something done)

We usually use ‘have something done’ when we are talking about paying someone to do something for us. It’s often used for services. The form is ‘subject + have + object + past participle’.

  • I had my car washed.
  • John will have his house painted.

Get + object + past participle (get something done)

We can also use ‘subject + get + object + past participle’. This has the same meaning as ‘have’, but is less formal.

  • The students get their essays checked.
  • I’ll get my hair cut next week.
  • He got his washing machine fixed.

Make + object + past participle (make something done)

We can also use ‘subject + get + object + past participle’. This has the same meaning as ‘have’.

The teacher makes homework done in the house

She made her Smartphone repaired

We make our care washed

Have someone do something (have + person + infinitive)

We can also use the construction ‘subject + have + person + infinitive’. This has a very similar meaning to ‘have something done’, which we’ve already talked about, but this time we say who did the thing – we talk about the person who we asked to do the thing for us.

  • I had the electrician look at my broken light.
  • The doctor will have the nurse call the patients.
  • The teacher had the students write the answers on the whiteboard.

Make as a Causative Verb

‘Make’ as a causative verb expresses the idea that the person requires another person to do something.

Subject + Make + Person + Base Form of Verb

Peter made her do her homework.
The teacher made the students stay after class.
The supervisor made the workers continue working in order to meet the deadline.

Get someone to do something (get + person + to + infinitive)

Finally, we can also use the construction ‘get + someone + to + infinitive’. Again, this means that you cause the other person to do the action, maybe by paying them to do it, or by asking them to do it, or by persuading them to do it.

  • She gets her son to do his homework by promising him ice cream when he’s finished.
  • I got the cleaner to clean under the cupboards.

Sometimes, this construction has the feeling that we needed to convince someone to do something, while the other constructions on this page are neutral.

I think my explanation about the point above is enough. If you have a question about the grammar rule I have just explained just now, you can write a comment in the comment form below. I will feel happy to answer your question or may be if you have suggestion or correction about it, you can also write a comment.


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