Causative verb forms

I got my hair cut in the morning. This is an example of the causative form. Causative verbs are used to talk about getting something done by somebody else. Some common expressions using the causative verb forms are given below.

  • You must have your hair washed. / You must get your hair cut.
  • You must get that carpet cleaned.
  • You must get / have your nails polished.
  • We must have the roof repaired.

In this structure we use the past participle form of the verb.

  • We must have the house painted. (NOT We must have the house painting.) (NOT We must have the house paint.)


Causative forms are also possible with make. Causative forms of make often imply the idea that somebody has a certain authority over somebody else.

  • He made me cry.
  • They made her repeat the whole story. (= They forced her to repeat the whole story.)
  • She made the child drink the milk.
  • I made him do the homework.
  • He made her cook dinner.
  • She made me accompany her.

Note that in this structure we use the infinitive without to.

  • She made me wait for hours. (NOT She made me waiting for hours.) (NOT She made me waited for hours.) (NOT She made me to wait for hours.)

Passive structures are possible in some cases and then we use an infinitive with to.

  • She was made to repeat the whole story. (NOT She was made repeat the whole story.)
  • I was made to wait for hours. (NOT I was made wait for hours.)