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.
- 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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