TOEIC Mastery - Causatives with MAKE, LET, and HAVE

grammar toeic Jul 16, 2021

The Basic Grammar of the Causative Form of Make, Let, and Have

The Causative. This is an English grammar point that you can find on just about every TOEIC test in Part V and Part VI. Look at this sample TOEIC Part V style question:

The boss will not let you _____ the projector home for the weekend.
(A) taking         (B) took         (C) take         (D) to take

The correct answer is C and you can find out more when you read pattern #4 in this lesson. Let's find out why!

There are 6 patterns with make, let, and have.

  • We use make followed by an object and then a base verb or an adjective.
  • We use let and have followed by an object and then a base verb

For success on the TOEIC, be sure to memorize these six grammar patterns

Using MAKE

Pattern #1: make + person + base verb

In its causative form, make has the meaning of “force” or “order.”

  1. The boss made Jack work on the report all day.
  2. This agreement prevents management from making employees work overtime.

Pattern #2: make + thing + base verb

When talking about things, make has the meaning of “cause.”

  1. The recession made the business fail.
  2. A simple restart can make the computer work

Pattern #3: make + object + adjective

When talking about people and things, make also has the meaning of “cause to become.”

  1. The CEO’s negative comments made everyone depressed.
  2. This new air conditioning system makes the room comfortable.

Using LET

Pattern #4: let + person + base verb

In its causative form, let has the meaning of “permit.”

  1. The airline will let you switch your flight without a penalty.
  2. I’m not feeling well, so the manager let me go home early today.

Pattern #5: let + thing + base verb

When talking about things, let has the meaning of “allow to happen.”

  1. We let the office lease expire at the end of last month.
  2. The supervisor said that we need to let the machine run all night.

Using HAVE 

Pattern #6: have + person + base verb

In its causative form, have has the meaning of “arrange” or “ask to do”

  1. The boss had Jack work on the report all day.
  2. Kelvin had the IT technician repair his computer.

The best way to remember grammar is to write some original sentences using that grammar that are true for you. Why not try leaving your original sentences in the comments below!

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