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Causative Verbs           


Certain verbs can be used to express a causal relationship between the subject and object in a sentence. Some of them require a "to" while others do not. Note the following patterns:


With "to" Without "to"
S + V + O + to V (O) S + V + O + V (O)
I allowed Jim to clean up the mess. I let Jim clean up the mess.
I asked Jim to clean up the mess. I had Jim clean up the mess.
I told Jim to dlean up the mess. I made Jim clean up the mess.
I pursuaded Jim to clean up the mess. *  

*Other verbs which use this pattern are require, command, force, order, remind, and urge. The verb help can be used with or without "to": Help Jim (to) clean up the mess.

Some verbs use the pattern, S + V that S + V (the second verb is in the base form)

I insisted that Laura do her homework.     (not "does")

I suggested that Laura do her homework.

I recommended that Laura do her homework.

*Other verbs which can be used with this pattern are ask, require, request, and demand.

The most common error with causatives is using "to" unnecessarily.


For example:

We made Kevin to finish his supper.                             (Incorrect)

We made Kevin finish his supper.                                 (Correct)

They suggested Irene to take music lessons.               (Incorrect)

They suggested that Irene take music lessons.             (Correct)

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