For example consider the sleep which is an intransitive verb, what is the verb for making one to sleep?

Is there any rule or transformation to make such verb using the intransitive verb?

  • There is no "rule". In the case of to sleep there's no "derived" transitive form that means to cause someone to sleep. In the case of to starve, it's just the same verb Jack starved to death because Jill didn't feed him. She starved him. Same for many other verbs, such as wash, shave, feed, etc. Aug 9, 2015 at 16:39
  • 1
    No, you'll have to use a causative construction (I made him sleep) or a paraphrase (see Victor Bazarov's answer below) instead. The version in your question (*making one to sleep) is ungrammatical; make is one of the few verbs that takes a bare infinitival clause as a complement, not a to-infinitival.
    – user230
    Aug 9, 2015 at 16:54
  • --although a reader is likely to encounter *made him to {VERB}" because it was grammatical in English a few centuries ago,
    – TimR
    Aug 9, 2015 at 23:17

1 Answer 1


I don't believe there is a formula that, when used, allows a simple conversion of an intransitive verb to a transitive one.

As far as "sleep" goes, only "lull" and "hypnotize" come to mind. Still, neither of them has actually the meaning you seek, I think. So, instead a compound verbs would be used, e.g. "put to sleep" or "lull to sleep".

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