Which of these sentences is correct and more common?

  1. The show made us be happy.
  2. The show made us happy.

To me both are correct with a little difference in meaning!

  • 1
    Good question +1 – Araucaria May 24 '16 at 16:32

In the first one, the show forced you to be happy, whereas in the second one you got happy by the simple presence of the show. More generally:

To make/have someone do something

Means to force someone to do something, through persuasive means or even by force.

For instance:

My mother made me wash the dishes

Means that, through authority, your mom forced you to do something. You'll understand that having the show forcing you to do things sounds a little ... bizarre !

  • Isn't the first one incorrect grammatically? – Abbasi May 24 '16 at 13:26
  • I wouldn't say it is per se, but I can't think of any case where it would make sense. I'm not that sure though and can't find any documentation on that, so I won't guarantee you 100%. – MadWard May 24 '16 at 13:30
  • 1
    I agree that the first is grammatically correct, but remember @franky that something can be both grammatically correct and nonsensical. – nnnnnn May 24 '16 at 13:48
  • 1
    P.S. MadWard, I agree with you that being forced to be happy is an odd concept, but that is more or less what that sentence means. The best I can do to put that into a context where it kind of makes sense is something like "After a rough day at work and an hour stuck in traffic I was determined to be miserable, but the show was so good it made me be happy." (If I were speaking aloud I'd put extra emphasis on "made". Except that in practice I'd find another way to express that sentiment.) – nnnnnn May 24 '16 at 13:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.