1

If I use the word "make" before a verb, shall I add "s" to the verb coming after it?

The mechanism makes the device operates and retries.

Or

The mechanism makes the device operate and retry.

2
  • 1
    Your second example is correct. "Operate and retry" is a coordination of two subordinate infinitival (i.e. non-finite) clauses as complement of "makes". Such clauses are headed by a plain form verb, here, "operate" and "retry", not a tensed form like "operates" and "retries". Semantically, "the device" is subject of the subordinate clauses, but syntactically it is object of "makes", and hence is called a 'raised object'. – BillJ Jan 12 '18 at 13:00
  • Does the mechanism retry, or does the mechanism make the device retry? – chasly - supports Monica Mar 2 at 21:37
1

After the 'causative verb' make we use the base form of the verb (as it is listed in a dictionary):

  • Please, don't make me do it again. ("do" is the base form)
  • He will never make that car turn 360°. ("turn" is the base form)

Your second option is correct:

The mechanism makes the device operate and retry.

0

Some verbs, such as make, let, see and hear, may be followed by an infinitive without the infinitive marker to. Others, such as help, dare, and need may include the to in some contexts but are often found without.

His mother made him go to school.

He dared her to jump off the high diving board. BUT How dare you do that?

Your sentence is a classic example:

The mechanism makes the device operate and retry.

The words operate and retry are infinitives without the to.

0

[1] The mechanism makes the device operate and retry.

[2] * The mechanism makes the device operates and retries.

The simple answer to your question is no; you should not add an "s" to the verbs following "makes" because they are not 3rd person tensed forms, but plain forms. [2] is thus ungrammatical.

"Operate and retry" is a coordination of two subordinate infinitival (i.e. non-finite) clauses functioning as complements of "makes".

Non-finite clauses such as infinitivals require a plain form verb, in this case "operate" and "retry", not a tensed form like "operates" and "retries".

Semantically, "the device" is subject of the subordinate clauses, but syntactically it is object of "makes" in the main clause, and hence is called a 'raised object'.

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