The causative verbs are: "Make, Have and Get"

"I made my brother carry my suitcase."

"I had my brother carry my suitcase."

"I got my brother to carry my suitcase."

Why we should use an infinitive form for "get"?

What is the rule for using them? Is there any special rule for use of them?

1 Answer 1


Infinitive forms are used with all three of these verbs; the difference is that causative HAVE and MAKE take ‘bare’ infinitives, while GET takes infinitives ‘marked’ with the particle to.

The reason for the difference is historical. Very briefly, and ignoring a lot of fine detail: the idioms with MAKE and HAVE are very old, and became current at a time before the use of to infinitives was fully developed. Causative GET, however, is a fairly recent development, not attested until the 15th century, so it follows the ‘modern’ practice of chaining verbs with to infinitives.

Causative MAKE and HAVE are acceptable in all registers, but causative GET is mostly conversational; it is rare in formal registers. There is some distinction in sense:

  • GET and HAVE are merely causative; in your example, for instance, they imply only that your brother carried your suitcase because you induced him to.

  • MAKE, however, implies compulsion: in your example it implies that your brother was unwilling to carry your suitcase and would not have carried it without some insistence or threat on your part.

  • MAKE used to be able to take 'marked' infinitives too, eg KJV Psalm 23
    – AakashM
    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:35
  • @AakashM Yes, there was a long period of playing around with MAKE/HAVE ∅/to/for to - that's what I meant by 'fine detail'. Jul 23, 2014 at 16:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .