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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!

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1 Answer 1

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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 !

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  • Isn't the first one incorrect grammatically?
    – Abbasi
    May 24, 2016 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, 2016 at 13:30
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    I agree that the first is grammatically correct, but remember @franky that something can be both grammatically correct and nonsensical.
    – nnnnnn
    May 24, 2016 at 13:48
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    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, 2016 at 13:59

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