CAUSATIVE CONSTRUCTION

EXAMPLES OF CAUSATIVE CONSTRUCTION

The CAUSATIVE CONSTRUCTION applies to sentences in which the subject of the sentence doesn’t carry out the action of the main verb, but has the action performed by someone else. Observe the sentence below.

  • The mother makes her children do their homework.
  • In this sentence, mother → subject, the main verb makes → causes, children → performer of the action of the main action to do homework.

In English the causative construction consists of the subject + make, have, or force + performer + action.

  • The coach forces the team to run laps.
  • Here, coach → subject, forces → causes, team → performer of the action of the main action to run laps.

  • The president had his secretary write letters.
  • In this example, president → subject, had → causes, secretary → performer of the action of the main action to write letters

In informal speech get and have are often used in a causative construction. Observe the following.

  • I got my friend to feed my dog while I was away.
  • I had my friend feed my dog while I was away.

The meaning of some verbs imply a causative construction.

  • I surprised my friend. → I made my friend be surprised.
  • I scared my friend. → I caused my friend to be scared.