let have make get

Let, get, have and make are what we call causative verbs. This is because they lead to results. You can let, have, make or get someone to do something. They vary in firmness – let is the least firm, make is the most firm.

Below is a simple demonstration of the different way each of these verbs is used, and how they are formed. Following that is an exercise to help you use each word, with answers and explanations.


Form: let + object + verb

Used for: to allow / give permission for an action.


  • Barry let me use his car.
  • Will your wife let you go fishing this weekend?
  • The open window let the air escape.


Form: get + person + to + verb

Used for: to convince, persuade, trick or otherwise coerce a result (a mild form).


  • She got him to stop crying by giving him a sweet.
  • The manager got the team to stay late.
  • Please get them to hurry, or we’ll miss the show.


Form: have + object + verb

Used for: to give responsibility to produce a result.


  • The policeman had me escort her home.
  • Jim had his assistant check the report twice before printing.
  • Please have the delivery placed at the back of the house.

Get and Have:

Sometimes get and have are used in the same way, with the same meaning. For instance I had him check the lights were off and I got him to check the lights were off.


Form: make object verb

Used for: to force an action / result.


  • Tim’s parents made him apologise for pinching her.
  • made the waiter return my soup, because it was cold.
  • Ruth makes me mad.


  1. They really wanted to go fishing, but the coastguard wouldn’t _________ them.
  2. I can’t believe she _________ you take your shoes off.
  3. How did you get them to eat their vegetables? I can never _________ Paul to eat his.
  4. The teacher _________ everyone in the class write an essay about their holiday.
  5. The teacher _________ everyone write on their computers.
  6. Jane hates the dentist, but after a week of pain her husband _________ her to see one.
  7. Paul Slough asked for an expense report, so I _________ the assistant fax one to him.
  8. The matron hates comedy films, and she never _________ the children watch them.
  9. My girlfriend finally _________ me to meet her parents last week.
  10. How did you _________ the doctor to give you his home number? He’s usually so private.
  11. Would you _________ them bring the car to the front of the house?
  12. Louise hated Jodie, but their mums _________ them play together.
  13. There was no room for error in the contract, so I _________ everyone in the team read through it three times to avoid mistakes.
  14. Lee’s wife doesn’t like him playing on the Xbox, but he somehow _________ her to _________ him play every day.


  1. Let – they were now allowed.
  2. Made – they were forced to remove their shoes.
  3. Get – the children are somehow persuaded to eat.
  4. Made – they had to write the essays. Had might be used for a lighter meaning.
  5. Let – they were given permission to use the computers.
  6. Got – he persuaded her, after a week of agony.
  7. Had – the assistant was given the responsibility to send the fax.
  8. Let – the children are not allowed to watch such films.
  9. Got – the boyfriend was persuaded, implying he was resistant.
  10. Get – it is not usually, so the asker wants to know how the doctor was persuaded.
  11. Have – requesting this task be done in a formal manner; giving them the responsibility. Get would be used more informally here.
  12. Made – they were forced to play, even though they were enemies.
  13. Had – they were given responsibility to check for mistakes. They may also have been made to do it, if we are being firmer.
  14. Gets (1) – he somehow persuades or tricks her into allowing him; let (2).

If you have any questions or would like to know any more about uses of let, get, have and make, please contact me directly using the link above or leave a message in the comments below.


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