Causative Verbs and Infinitives + Causative Verb Bare Infinitive


Causative Verbs

There are many causative verbs but some of them are followed by object + infinitives (to + base form of infinitive form of verb) while some are followed by object + bare infinitives.

  • I let my students talk most of the time.
  • I will have my assistant prepare me dinner.
  • I will make her understand my point.

The reason why let, have and make are called true causative verbs is because they are the ones followed by object + bare infinitive/base form of verb

Please note that have can be used in passive voice, and its form is have + object + past participle.

  • I will have my dinner prepared soon.
  • She is having her clothes ironed.

Other causative verbs cause, allow, help, enable, force, require, persuade, etc. are followed by object + infinitive (to + bare infinitive/base form of verb).

  • The doctor allowed his patient to go home.
  • The court allowed him to post bail.
  • My brother helped me (to) cook the turkey.
  • My tablet enables me to work wherever I am.
  • My boss forced me to work until midnight.
  • The government requires all the citizens to pay income taxes.
  • A politician persuaded the people to vote for him.

Help can use both forms with no difference in meaning.

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