I have been curious that verb 'walk' means 'causative verb' in 'I walked the dog.' sentence. And I know these verbs (have, let, make) are causative verb, but how verb 'walk' in 'I walked the dog.' sentence means 'causative verb' without these verbs (have, let, make)? And what is difference in both?

  • The difference is that walk is not a causative verb in this sentence. It's simply a transitive verb. I can't think of how I'd make walk into a causative verb in this sentence right now, but if I do, I'll let you know. Feb 9, 2017 at 12:09
  • @Teacher KSHuang I ran the dog.(the dog was run by me.), I've waited him for 2hours (he has waited for me for 2hours) : in both sentence the verbs ran and waited were used as made dog and him ran and waited. Isn't it?
    – GKK
    Feb 9, 2017 at 12:16
  • 1
    @SIS - except that "I ran the dog" doesn't sound fluent, because we use walk as a transitive verb to mean "took the dog for a walk", but we don't normally use run that way. Similarly, "I've waited him for two hours" is not correct; it should be "I've waited for him for two hours."
    – stangdon
    Feb 9, 2017 at 13:34

2 Answers 2


The difference between

I walked the dog.


I made the dog walk.

is the willingness of the dog to walk. The first implies the dog wants to walk, the second implies the dog is unwilling to walk.

  • In the sentence 'I walk the dog.', Is preposition 'with' omitted?, If not, how do I understand in what way the sentence makes the meaning 'I am with the dog and walking with dog?'
    – GKK
    Feb 10, 2017 at 1:00
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    @SIS "With" is not necessary in the sentence "I walk the dog." because it is generally understood that dogs so not walk themselves (usually) and the expression is idiomatic so most people will assume you are with the dog. If you were to do something different, you might use "with" as in "Instead of walking, I ran with the dog." "I walked the dog." is already a shortened form of "I took the dog for a walk." If someone asks you to walk the dog, they will usually ask "Can you take the dog for a walk?" instead of "Can you walk the dog?"
    – Peter
    Feb 10, 2017 at 4:05

To "walk the dog" means to control and handle the dog while it performs bodily functions. That is, make sure it's pee and poop go in acceptable places, stoop-and-scoop after if required, keep the dog from going places that dogs are not permitted, return the dog when these functions are complete, and so forth.

By extension, "walk the dog" can mean a human going to use the toilet.

To "make the dog walk" would be to do something that produces a dog that is walking. It does not necessarily involve all that other stuff in the first phrase.

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