Causative Verbs in English

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In this reference, we will explore what causative verbs are, how we can form them, and how to use them in sentences. We will also look at some common examples of causative verbs. Let's start learning!

What are Causative Verbs?

Causative verbs are verbs that show the cause of a particular action or event. They are used to express that someone or something is responsible for causing a certain action. For example, "John caused the accident" means that John was responsible for causing the accident. The verb "cause" is a causative verb in this sentence.

Causative verbs are also used to show that someone is responsible for making something happen. For example, "John made the cake" means that John was responsible for baking the cake. The verb "make" is a causative verb in this sentence.

Causative verbs can also be used to express that someone is responsible for allowing something to happen. For example, "John allowed the students to leave early" means that John was responsible for giving the students permission to leave early. The verb "allow" is a causative verb in this sentence.

In summary, causative verbs are used to express that someone or something is responsible for causing, making, or allowing an action or event to happen.

Causative Verbs Examples

Let's see some examples of causative verbs in action. These examples should help to illustrate the different ways in which causative verbs can be used.

  1. "John got his car washed." In this sentence, the verb "get" is a causative verb. It expresses that John was responsible for having his car washed.
  2. "John made his bed." In this sentence, the verb "make" is a causative verb. It expresses that John was responsible for making his bed.
  3. "John allowed the children to go to the park." In this sentence, the verb "allow" is a causative verb. It expresses that John was responsible for allowing the children to go to the park.

These examples should help to illustrate how causative verbs are used in English.

Forming Causative Verbs

Forming a causative verb in English involves using a causative verb (like "make," "have," or "get") to indicate the action of causing someone to do something. Here's a general guideline:

  • Using "Make": When someone forces another person to do something. The structure is: [Subject] + make + [person] + [base form of verb]. Example: "The teacher made the student apologize."
  • Using "Have": When someone arranges for someone else to do something. The structure is: [Subject] + have + [person] + [base form of verb]. Example: "She had the mechanic fix her car."
  • Using "Get": When someone persuades another person to do something. The structure is: [Subject] + get + [person] + to + [base form of verb]. Example: "I got my brother to lend me his laptop."

In each case, the person in the middle is the one who performs the action, while the subject is the person who causes the action to happen. It's essential to choose the correct causative verb based on the context to convey the intended meaning accurately.

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Using Causative Verbs in Sentences

Causative verbs are usually used in sentences with two objects. The first object is the person or thing that is responsible for causing, making, or allowing the action to happen. The second object is the action or event that is being caused, made, or allowed to happen.

For example, "John allowed the children to go to the park" means that John (the first object) is responsible for allowing (the second object) the children to go to the park.

Causative verbs can also be used in sentences with three objects. The first object is the person or thing that is responsible for causing, making, or allowing the action to happen. The second object is the person or thing that is affected by the action. The third object is the action or event that is being caused, made, or allowed to happen.

For example, "John allowed the children to go to the park" means that John (the first object) is responsible for allowing (the third object) the children (the second object) to go to the park.

Common Causative Verbs

Now let's take a look at some common causative verbs in English.

  1. Allow: This verb expresses that someone is responsible for allowing something to happen. For example, "John allowed the children to go to the park" means that John was responsible for giving the children permission to go to the park.
  2. Make: This verb expresses that someone is responsible for making something happen. For example, "John made the cake" means that John was responsible for baking the cake.
  3. Help: This verb expresses that someone is responsible for helping someone else to do something. For example, "John helped the children to make the cake" means that John was responsible for helping the children to bake the cake.
  4. Have: This verb expresses that someone is responsible for having something done. For example, "John had his car washed" means that John was responsible for having his car washed.
  5. Get: This verb expresses that someone is responsible for getting something done. For example, "John got his car washed" means that John was responsible for having his car washed.

There are many more verbs like this, and understanding them will help improve your vocabulary! 
Causative Verbs in English 
 

Causative Verbs in Different Tenses

Causative verbs can be used in different tenses. For example, the verb "allow" can be used in the past tense ("John allowed the children to go to the park"), present tense ("John is allowing the children to go to the park"), and future tense ("John will allow the children to go to the park").

The same is true for other causative verbs. For example, the verb "make" can be used in the past tense ("John made the cake"), present tense ("John is making the cake"), and future tense ("John will make the cake").

It's important to note that the tense of the causative verb doesn't affect the tense of the second object. For example, "John allowed the children to go to the park" is grammatically correct, even though the verb "allow" is in the past tense and the verb "go" is in the present tense.

Causative Verbs in Questions

Causative verbs can also be used in questions. For example, "Did John allow the children to go to the park?" is a valid question. The verb "allow" is a causative verb in this sentence.

Similarly, "Is John making the cake?" is also a valid question. The verb "make" is a causative verb in this sentence.

It's important to note that the tense of the causative verb doesn't affect the tense of the second object. For example, "Does John allow the children to go to the park?" is grammatically correct, even though the verb "allow" is in the present tense and the verb "go" is in the present tense.

Causative Verbs in Negatives

Causative verbs can also be used in negatives. For example, "John didn't allow the children to go to the park" is a valid sentence. The verb "allow" is a causative verb in this sentence.

Similarly, "John isn't making the cake" is also a valid sentence. The verb "make" is a causative verb in this sentence.

It's important to note that the tense of the causative verb doesn't affect the tense of the second object. For example, "John won't allow the children to go to the park" is grammatically correct, even though the verb "allow" is in the future tense and the verb "go" is in the present tense.

Summary

Causative verbs are an important part of the English language and understanding them is essential for mastering the language. Causative verbs are used to express that someone or something is responsible for causing, making, or allowing an action or event to happen. We can also use them in questions and negatives.

Now that you understand what causative verbs are and how to create them, why not put your newfound knowledge to the test? Try exploring more references below to improve your skills!

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Verbs in EnglishParts of Speech in English List of Verbs in EnglishPerfect Infinitive with Modals in EnglishAuxiliary Verbs in EnglishModal Verbs in EnglishPresent Simple in English

Comments

PromovaDec 28th, 2023
Causative verbs like "make," "have," and "get" differ in the nuances of the action they represent. Choosing the appropriate causative verb is crucial as it determines whether the subject forces, arranges, or persuades someone to perform an action, thereby accurately conveying the intended meaning in a sentence.
DamionDec 28th, 2023
how do causative verbs differ in their application, and why is choosing the correct causative verb important in sentences
IrenkaNov 8th, 2023
The explanation is great, but the test contains mistakes.
Dawood Nov 5th, 2023
It is good to learn English with you