Causative verbs: get, have, help, let, make

Causative verbs: get, have, help, let, make

Posted by Grant Richardson, 25th May, 2015

Causative verbs include get, have, help, let, and make.

You must use ‘to’ for ‘get’, and must not use ‘to’ for ‘have’, ‘let’, and ‘make’.  For ‘help’, it is optional.

Some examples:

I prefer to let my class keep writing until they have finished or they look too tired.

Meanwhile, I might walk around the classroom, in case someone needs me to help them (to) write a difficult sentence.

Other times, I will sit and think of some good ways to get my students to read more.

If I try to print copies of an interesting related article for students to read, but there is no more photocopy paper, I might call the office assistant to have him bring some more paper from upstairs.

For a common mistake by Cantonese speakers, regarding help, see my other post here.

For more grammar explanation, and practice exercises, see here (opens a new browser window).