Welcome to Daily Tips on Learning English. Today’s tip is on the causative verbs “make”, “have” and “get”, and the verb “let”.
Let’s look at some examples. “I made my brother carry my suitcase.” “I had my brother carry my suitcase.” “I got my brother to carry my suitcase.” “I let my brother carry my suitcase.” “make”, “have” and “get” can be used to express the idea that “X” causes “Y” to do something.
When they are used with this meaning, they’re similar but not identical. “I made him carry my suitcase” means I give him no choice. I insisted or forced him to do it. “I had him carry my suitcase” means that he did it just because I asked him. I didn’t have to insist. “I got him to carry my suitcase” means I managed to persuade my brother to carry my suitcase. I didn’t insist. I persuaded him, possibly by offering to give him something or do something for him. “I let him carry my suitcase” means he wanted to carry my suitcase. He asked me if he could, and I said “OK”. I give him my permission to do it.
Chinese learners of English often use “let” when they should use “make”. Remember that “make” is similar to “force”, and only if you do not want to do it can someone make you do it. And remember that “let” is similar to “allow” or “permit”, and only if you need someone’s permission to do it, and you want to do it can someone let you or not let you do it.
Also be careful with using the verbs “let”, “make”, and “have” with these meanings. Say “let me do it”. Do not say “let me to do it”. Say “make him do it”, do not say “make him to do it”. And say “have her do it”, do not say “have her to do it”.
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