I think both sentences have the same meaning. If there any difference please, tell me.

  1. I'll have him killed.
  2. I'll make him be killed.

Here another examples:

  • Why you guys have your phones turned off?
  • Why you guys made your phones be turned off?

I'm asking especially about using the verb "to have" in this way. I feel like if I replaced it with "To make", it will give the same meaning.

I'll give more examples to make it clearer:

  1. I have her saying...
  2. I have him hurt.
  3. I can have you crucified.

Why don't we just say: I can make you be crucified. Is there any difference?

One more question, do you use -ed or -ing after using the verb "To have" that way?

Edit: I inserted the word "be" to make my sentences clear in meaning (or to have my sentences cleared in meaning).

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    Your example #1 is a very specific usage where to have [object] [past-tense verb] means to cause / instruct someone else to do something to the object. Pragmatically this sense is unlikely with your specific "phones" example (most people can turn their own phones off; they don't need to get someone else to do this for them), but it could apply in something like Why do you have your phone professionally serviced every month? Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 13:34
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    "Make him be killed" is not usual for this meaning. Make someone be + sorry is. Also, the sentences with "Why you guys" should be: "Why do you guys [etc.]. And 2) "I have him hurt" is not right. "I'll have him [beaten up]." "I'll make him be quiet".
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 14:14

3 Answers 3


I would say that I'll make him be killed and the rest of your other examples with the verb make sound very unidiomatic, even though grammatically they look fine. I don't think you will ever hear someone actually say make someone be killed or make something be turned off. Make is usually only followed by either an adjective or a verb in its bare infinitive form. All those phrasings sound very, very awkward. So, I'd recommend you stick with the verb have or use a different grammatical form for make:

I'll have him killed in an instant. (It sounds like you're going to have other people take care of the guy.)

I'll make him dead in an instant. (This is a more general statement. It's not clear from the sentence how exactly you're going to get the guy killed, but the fact of the matter is that he is going to be dead in an instant should you so desire.)

It really all comes down to the idiomacy of your sentences rather than their grammatical structure.

  • Please, see the Edit of my question. I tried to make the examples idiomatic as much as I can. And I try to know the difference in (meaning). Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 12:30
  • Thank you so much for your answer. From my understanding, the correct grammar is to use (make + adj. or inf.) or (have + past participle). That's why we say: (Let's make America great again). Not (let's have America great again). Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 13:06
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    I'd say that, at this stage, don't try to come up with your own stuff. Instead, always use authentic, native-speaker English (correct native-speaker English, that is) as the source of your examples. The fact that even though certain things seem to fit each other grammatically does not mean that they will sound natural. Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 13:14
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    Nice to meet you, Michael. See you around. Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 13:16
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    Nice to meet you too :) Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 13:17

I'll have him killed.

You'll get someone else to kill him.

I'll make him be killed.

You're going to do something that will cause him to be killed. This strongly implies 2 things - A) you won't "use" a person for this, and B) this is not real life, but a video game, where you have the power to simply "make" things happen.

Make is generally used like this only if you can't use the verb directly, don't know what verb to use, or want to introduce a level of indirection.

I made the cookies baked - bad, simply say I baked cookies.

I made the cookies burnt - you didn't directly burn them, but did something that in turn caused them to be burnt.

I made the car grind to a halt - fine, because you don't know exactly what you did, or the actual action that grinds the car to a halt is complex and you don't want to get into that level of detail.



OP Sample 1: I'll have him killed. [OK, grammatically.]

Sample 2 (control sample by me): I'll have him beaten up. [Ok]

Samples 3: I'll have the house painted. He'll have the work done. They'll have the boat painted. He had the barn cleaned. She was having her hair cut. I have the car washed once a week.

Meaning: One person causes someone else do these actions to someone or something.

A person has an action done/performed on someone or something.

Have + object [pronoun or noun] + past participle of verb.

It is a passive construction: "I'll have the boat painted" [by someone]. All the sentences imply an agent.

Compare that to:


OP Sample 1: I'll make him be killed. [OK, grammatical, but odd]

Sample 2 (control sample by me): I'll make him be quiet. [OK]

Samples 3 She will make them be polite. We'll make them be sorry. You'll make them be nice [to other people.]

Meaning: One person forces another person to be into a state or condition through some action that is not given in the sentence.

Make + object (pronoun or noun) + be + state or condition [quiet, sorry, thankful, etc.] This is not a passive construction.

OP sample 3: Why you guys have your phones turned off? Why you guys made your phones be turned off?


Who has had you guys' phones turned off? [who had the action performed on your phones?]

OR: Why were you made to turn off your phones? [forced to turn them off.]

Who has made you guys turn off your phones? [who has forced you to turn off your phones?]

Please note: to make someone do something is not the same as to make someone be in some condition or state. One is to force someone to do something and the other is to force someone to be in a state or condition: be quiet, be sorry, be killed, be sorry.

  • This is a great answer too. Especially, when you converted the "phone" sentence from "have" to "make". Nice details and simple to understand. Thank you very much sir, Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 20:19
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    @user2824371 It's Ma'am, but you are most welcome. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 20:59

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