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passive voice using causative verbs, such as LET, GET, NEED

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Prajna, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. Prajna New Member

    English
    Please help me to better understand how to construct sentences using causative verbs in the passive voice. For example: What is the passive form of this sentence: "He let her show him the book." ? I can understand the differences between these two: What do you need to do after class (causative, right?) and What do you need to have done after class (passive causative, right?) Or better yet: What do you want to do with this? versus What do you want to have done with this?

    With causative verbs such as let, have, get, make, the construct is this: SUB. + Causative TV + Dir.OB. + participial verb. "She gets her car washed on Fridays." Now how do you put this into passive causative? And what form of the verb is used with LET? Is LET always followed by the base form of the verb in the causative? Even if it is passive causative? Confused!
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  2. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Welcome to the forum, Prajna.

    I do not understand what you mean by passive causative. I hope you realize that that "What do you need to have done" and "What do you want to have done" are ambiguous, depending on whether have is stressed (as a causative verb) or unstressed (as the auxiliary in the perfect infinitive). A less ambiguous passive would be "What do you need/want done?".
     
  3. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    I can think of only three causative verbs: get, have, and make:
    "I'll get him to google "causative passive."
    "I'll have him ...."
    "I'll make him...."
    "Let" and "need" don't seem particularly "causative" to me, although logic may not apply.
    Check this link: http://international.okanagan.bc.ca/chalkntalk/

    Why anyone would want to use such awkward phraseology is beyond my ken. I would not enjoy having been made to do it.:)
     
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Prajna, are you asking how to turn (for example) He let her show him the book into the passive?

    If so, my answer is "don't use let": say, instead, She was allowed to show him the book or She was permitted to show him the book.
     
  5. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    It looks to me like you're asking about constructs such as:

    He had her show him the book. (=He told/asked/ordered her to show him the book.)

    This works for your original sentence. However:

    In my view that is a plain active, perfect tense.
     
  6. ribran

    ribran Senior Member

    Austin, Texas
    English - American
    This is interesting to me. I couldn't use let here, either, but I know enough very well-educated people who could that I don't consider it wrong, just rare.
     
  7. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    1. She has someone wash her car on Fridays. What does she have someone wash on Fridays? [Causative.]

    2. She has someone do this on Fridays. What does she have someone do on Fridays? [Causative.]
    3. She has this done on Fridays. What does she have done on Fridays? [Causative and passive.]

    4. She gets someone to wash her car on Fridays. What does she get someone to wash on Fridays? [Causative.]
    5. She gets her car washed on Fridays. What does she get washed on Fridays? [Causative and passive.]

    6. He had her show him the book. What did he have her show him? [Causative.]
    7. He had the book shown him. What did he have shown him? [Causative and passive.]
    8. She was made to show him the book. [Passive of causative make requires to.]

    9. You need to get someone to do this after class. What do you need to get someone to do after class? [Causative.]
    10. You need to get something done after class. What do you need to get done after class? [Causative and passive.]

    11. You need someone to do this after class. What do you need someone to do after class? [Not causative, but similar structure.]
    12. You need something done after class. What do you need done after class? [Passive, but not causative.]

    13. He let her show him the book. What did he let her show him? [Not causative, but similar structure.]
    14. He let the book be shown him. [Passive, but not causative. Requires be.]
    15. She was let to show him the book. [Not causative. Passive of let requires to.]

    Sentences 3, 5, 7, and probably 10, are of the form SUB. + Causative TV + Dir.OB. + participial verb. The others are not.

    I hope this helps.
     

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