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Verbs & Other Verbs: Verbs + Other Verbs (#3)

Dennis Oliver
Verbs + Other Verbs (#3):
Verb + Object + Verb

The verbs lethelpmake, and have can be used in an
unusual way: they can be followed by an object and
the base form of a verb (a simple verb form: no -s,
no past tense, no -ing).


Let me do that for you.

Did anyone help you write this report?

Bob's father made him apologize to his sister.

Please have someone clean up this mess!


Special Notes: Let and Help


Let cannot be used with to:

not this:
*Will your boss let you to leave work early?

but this:
Will your boss let you 
leave work early?

not this: 
*No, I can't let you to borrow my car.

but this:
No, I can't let you 
borrow my car.


The meaning of let in the sentences above
permit or allow to:

Will your boss let you leave work early? =
Will your boss 
permit you to leave work early? or
Will your boss 
allow you to leave work early?

No, I can't let you borrow my car. =
No, I can't 
permit you to borrow my car. or
No, I can't 
allow you to borrow my car.


Help is sometimes used with and object and to
plus a verb (especially in speaking), but many prefer
without to, especially in writing):

Judy helped me finish my assignment.
(preferred by many for writing)

Judy helped me to finish my assignment.
(sometimes heard in speaking)


Special Note: Make and Have

Both make and have are often used with an object and
a base form to show causes:

Bob made his brother clean their room.

Bob had his brother clean their room.

Note, however, that

1. In "Bob made his brother clean their room,"
made is very strong. The meaning is about
the same as "Bob forced his brother to clean
their room." (Bob's brother didn't want to
clean their room, but he had no choice.)
2. In "Bob had his brother clean their room," had
is not nearly as strong. The meaning is about the
same as "Bob made arrangements for his brother
to clean their room." (Bob asked his brother to clean
their room and Bob's brother agreed to do it.)


Special Note: Get + Object + to + Verb

The verb get can be used to show a meaning which is
similar to the meaning of 
made and had in the sentences
above, but the grammar is different: sentences with 
to before the verb that follows the object:

Bob got his brother to clean their room.

In the sentence above, the meaning is about the same
as "Bob 
convinced (or persuaded) his brother to clean
their room." (Bob had to persuade his brother to clean
their room; Bob's brother didn't offer to clean the room
and he wasn't willing to clean their room until Bob
convinced him to do it.)

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