I'm confused on why the following is correct.

Walking makes him feel good.

Since "him" is the third person (he/she/it). Shouldn't it be:

Walking makes him feels good.

This sounds wrong, but how can I explain? Does the verb agreement not play when it is regarding the object of the subject?

  • him is the object, not the subject of the sentence. That's walking, and the verb makes agrees with this already.
    – Glorfindel
    Dec 25 '16 at 18:39
  • 4
    "Feel good" is a subordinate bare infinitival clause, so "feel" is an infinitive verb-form; it's untensed, so there is no verb agreement.
    – BillJ
    Dec 25 '16 at 19:04
  • Causative-make takes a bare-infinitival complement.
    – user178049
    Mar 5 '17 at 22:46

The verb would be "feels" if the subject of the sentence were "he;" however, the form "him" is never the subject, and in this case is the object of make. That's the short answer.

What feel exactly is in this sentence is complicated, and I'm not sure I understand it. But here's my guess: "feel" is an auxiliary infinitive used with "make." Unlike most infinitives, it is not expressed with the word "to" in front of it. I'm not sure why, but it is an infinitive. Consider this sentence with "cause" instead of "make."

Walking causes him to feel good.

In this case feel is also an infinitive, expressed normally.


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