What (made - caused) you to change your mind?

Which choice is correct for this sentence?


Good question! "Caused" is the verb that works with the sentence as it is. Although either would work with the correct sentence. The structure is different but the meaning is the same.

What caused you to change your mind.

What made you change your mind.

I don't the know rule that would explain this usage. Help us, teachers!

  • Can't I say: What made you to change your mind? – Mohamed Magdy Feb 9 '18 at 19:47
  • @MohamedMagdy I do not know the answer to that question.I would not, for no other reason than it sounds odd. – EllieK Feb 12 '18 at 14:33
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    I don’t think there’s a rule, other than that “cause” is like the verbs in group #2 here, and “make” is not: learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/…. In other words, some of these just have to be memorized. A similar pair is “Who allowed him to drive the car?” and “Who let him drive the car?” – Steve Kass Jul 15 '18 at 22:03
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    A full explanation wont fit in a comment, but I'll try and cover the difference between make and cause quickly. You can make X do Y, whereas you can cause Z to happen (where Z is an event of some kind). So, I could make you (X) change your mind (Y). Meanwhile, I could cause the event of you changing your mind (you to change your mind) to happen. This results in cause you to change your mind. – Omegastick Aug 15 '18 at 8:10

I think using 'made' in this question is in a direct conversation or the decision just made at the present event. The use of 'caused' would be the event of decision occurred long ago in the past or the decision made yesterday, and I would like to know what caused you to change your mind? and MADE is more specific referring that some person made you change your mind? and 'Caused' may included general reasons or other factors may caused me to change my mind, not just someone specifically.

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