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Should we write:

Let's make this widget on the screen look like it has some kind of shadow.

or

Let's make this widget on the screen looks like it has some kind of shadow.

and does this apply to the general form of "make something [verb]" as to whether the verb should be "like" vs "likes" or "go" vs "goes"? I think if we don't use "make" but use "let" (such as "let it go"), it should be the same rule but not entirely sure.

If possible, could you tell the name of this rule so that when we write it one way or the other, we can tell other people it is by (the name) of this rule?

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  • For questions like this, you can do an Ngram search
    – gotube
    Jul 21, 2022 at 21:55

1 Answer 1

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"Let's make this widget on the screen look like ..."

This construction has a bare infinitive complement, for example:

make him be good

In your case, the verb "make" has a direct object "this widget on the screen" and an infinitive complement "look like it has some kind of shadow".

I don't think that this has a name, but the use of "look" is "bare infinitive". And the construction is a "causative". The verb "make" is acting as a causative verb.

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    thanks. I think your first line is your suggested answer of how it should be? Jul 21, 2022 at 21:13

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