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Causative Verbs

En esta entrada me gustara compartir un tema que muchos consideran como un


verdadero dolor de cabeza: Los causative verbs.
Si bien es una estructura difcil de comprender a un principio, te aseguro que con
la prctica logrars dominarla. Asi que, sin ms que agregar, comenzamos:
Las oraciones con causative verbs, son aquellas en las que expresas una accin
que afecta a una persona o a un objeto y que es, ha sido o ser realizada por una
tercera persona. Tambin se pueden utilizar en el sentido de convencer u obligar a
alguien a hacer algo.
Por ejemplo:

The director doesnt wash his car himself; he has it washed twice a week. (El
director no lava su coche l mismo; se lo lavan dos veces por semana.)

Ana had her hair cut last week. (A Ana le cortaron el cabello la semana
pasada.)

Susans parents made her do her homework. (Los padres de Susana la


hicieron hacer tu tarea.)

David is going to have his house painted next month. (A David le van a pintar
su casa el mes que entra.)

Si observas bien, no se puede hacer una traduccin literal al espaol, ya que la


frase pierde sentido si la traducimos tal cual. Es justamente por esto, que a
muchos hispanohablantes se les dificulta aprender esta estructura.
Pero
Cul es la forma ms sencilla de aprender los causative verbs?

Una forma sencilla es memorizando la frmula para construir la oracin,


visualizar la accin e indiscutiblemente: practicando.
A continuacin encontrars la explicacin de los causative
verbs:make, have y get, as como sus frmulas correspondientes y ejemplos
prcticos para su comprensin.

Causative verb: Make


Make expresa la idea de que el sujeto principal (en la oracin) hace que una
tercera persona haga algo
o
que un objeto haga algo como resultado de una accin realizada por una
persona.
Frmula: Sujeto+make (made)+persona u objeto+verbo en presente*
Ejemplo: Robert+ make (made)+ the team+ stay after the meeting.

Robert made the team stay after the meeting. (Roberto hizo que el equipo se
quedara despus de la reunin.)

The doctor made her do the effort test. (El mdico hizo que ella realizara la
prueba de esfuerzo.)

I made the telephone work. (Hice que el telfono funcionara.)

Jimmy made the guitar sound great. (Jimmy hizo que la guitarra sonara
fantstica.)

*la regla de la s al final para el presente de la tercera persona del singular no se


aplica.

Causative verb: Have

En su forma activa, have expresa la idea de que una tercera persona hace algo
para el sujeto principal
o
que el personaje principal quiere que alguien ms haga algo por l.
Tambin puede expresar: darle a alguien la responsabilidad de hacer
algo. Normalmente este causative verb se utiliza cuando hablamos de servicios.
1.- Frmula: Sujeto+have (had)+persona+verbo
Ejemplo: Diana+ had+ her assistant+print the report.

Diana had her assistant print the report. (Diana hizo que su asistente le
imprimiera el reporte.)

Mary had her husband cook dinner for her. (Mary hizo que su esposo le
cocinara la cena.)

The mannager is here, Sir. Have him come in please! (-El gerente est
aqu, seor. -Hgalo pasar por favor!

Please have your secretary send the information via email. (Por favor que su
secretaria enve la informacin por e-mail.)

Tenemos una segunda frmula para utilizarlo en forma pasiva:


2.- Frmula causative passive: Sujeto+have (had)+objeto+verbo en participio
pasado
Ejemplo: I+ had +my house+ painted last year.

I had my house painted last year. (Me pintaron la casa el ao pasado.)

I had my car fixed last weekend. (Me arreglaron mi coche la semana


pasada.)

Causative verb: Get


En su forma activa, get normalmente expresa convencer a alguien de hacer algo.
1.- Frmula : Sujeto+get (got)+persona+verbo en infinitivo
Ejemplo: Luis +got +Helen+ to read more.

Luis got Helen to read more. (Luis convenci a Helen de leer ms.)

Advertising on television is trying to get people to quit smoking. (Los


anuncios de la T.V. tratan de convencer a la gente de dejar de fumar.)

How can parents get their children to eat well? (Cmo los padres pueden
convencer/lograr que sus hijos coman mejor?)

Aqu la segunda frmula para cuando necesites utilizarlo en forma pasiva:


2.- Frmula causative passive: Sujeto+get (got)+objeto+verbo en participio pasado
Ejemplo: I+ got +my car+ repaired.

I got my car repaired. (Me compusieron el coche.)

He got his telephone fixed. (Le compusieron tu telfono.)

Nota: Algunas veces podemos intercambiar get por have, como lo hicimos en
ejemplos anteriores, pero hay que tener cuidado ya que no significan exactamente
lo mismo. Puedes darte cuenta con el siguiente ejemplo:
Si dices: -I got the doctor to check my blood pressure.
Estas dando a entender que al principio el doctor no pensaba que fuera necesario,
pero lo convenciste para que revisara tu presin arterial.
Ahora bien, si intercambiamos el causative verb y dices: -I had the doctor check
my blood presure.

Quiere decir que pediste al Doctor que revisara tu presin arterial.

Causative Form, Active and Passive


In English, the causative form is used when we don't do someting ourselves, instead we arrange for
someone else to do it for us.

There are two kinds of causative structure:

Active Causative
Passive Causative

A. Active Causative
Verbs that take active forms of causative are Let, Make, Have, and Get
Let
Let is used when we want to allow someone to do something.

Pattern
let

agent

verb

Example:

She lets me borrow her book.


explanation:

She

let

agent

lets

me

verb

borrow

her book.

Make
Make is used when we want to force someone to do something.

Pattern
make

agent

verb

Example:

My mother makes me do my home work.


explanation:

My mother

make

agent

verb

makes

me

do

my
homework.

Have
Have is used when we want to give someone the responsbility to do something.

Pattern
have

agent

verb

Example:

My English teacher has me do the homework in a week.


explanation:

My English
teacher

have/has

agent

verb

has

me

do

the home work in a


week.

Get
Get is used when we want to convince to do something or to trick someone into doing something.

Pattern
get

agent

to

verb

Example:

My friends get me to take the test.


explanation:

My friends

get

agent

to

verb

get

me

to

take

the quiz.

Get vs. Have


Sometimes "get someone to do something" is interchangeable with "have someone do something," but these
expressions do not mean exactly the same thing.
Examples:

My friends get me to take the test.


It can be meant that I am actually not encouraged to take the test, but my friends convince me to take that.

My friends have me take the test.


It means that my friends ask me to take the quiz.

B. Passive Causative
There are two verbs generally used in the passive causative form; they are Have and Get. In addition,
there is usually no agent in this form; it's not like in active form which has the agent. The action verb is in the
past participle, and the object comes before it. The difference between have and get in this passive causative
form is the same like in active causative form explained aboved.

Pattern
Subject

Have/Get

Object

Past Participle

Examples:

I ask someone to fix my car.


= I have my car fixed.

She asked John to wash the plate.


= She got the plate washed.

Exception

But, if the verb get followed by personal nouns, past participle can't be used in it. Instead, we must use to
infinitive. So it will become just like in active causative form.

Pattern
Subject

Get

Object (personal noun)

to

verb

I get the house painted


I get John to paint the house.

In addition, modal auxiliary verbs may be used with the causative sentence structure. Most often,
modals express a suggestion by the speaker, such as:

You should have your hair cut.


He should get his decision changed
She will have the food cooked