Grammar 4-02 | Low Intermediate | CEFR B1

Causative Verbs

Listen to four conversations with the causative verb.

Conversation #1

Man: Can you help me do this?
Woman: Sure, what are trying to do?
Man: I’m trying to put up this tent.
Woman: Oh, it’s easy. Let me show you what to do.
Man: Wow, that was so easy for you.
Woman: Yeah, I was in the army. We do this all the time.

Conversation #2

Man: Why are you home so late?
Woman: My boss made me stay late today.
Man: Why did she do that?
Woman: I had to help her write a letter in French.
Man: That was nice of you.
Woman: Well, she made me do it. She’s the boss.

Conversation #3

Man: Did you get a new car?
Woman: No, my friend is letting me use his.
Man: What happened to your car?
Woman: It is getting repairs.
Man: Lucky you. This is a nice car.
Woman: Well, he made me promise I’d be careful with it.

Conversation #4

Man: Your mom is so nice!
Woman: Yeah, she is now, but she was really strict when I was younger.
Woman: Really, how so?
Man: Well, for one, she never let me watch TV or eat sugar.
Woman: That is strict!
Man: And she made me study at least four hours a day, even if I did not have homework.
Woman: Wow, that sounds like tough love.

Causative Verbs

The verbs make, let, and help can be causative verbs.

One agent (person or thing) is causing an action in another agent (person or thing).

Point 1: (help, make, let) + person + base verb + object

She let me leave the office early.
My mom made me take out the trash.
My sisters often helps me do my taxes.

Point 2: Let

He let me use his car.
They let us stay in their house.
The waiter let us change tables.
The teacher didn't let us leave early.

Point 3: Make

He made me carry his bags.
My mom made me finish my homework.
I will make you pay for this! (I will get revenge!)
We didn't make him obey the rules.

Point 4: Help

He helped me move into my house.
I'm helping her write her essay.
I can help you do that.
She didn't help me do anything.

Answer the following questions about the interview.