I can't get the new TV to work properly

Parsi
#1
Today I came across a sentence taken from a book titled Improve Your IELTS Listening & Speaking Skills. The sentence is :
"I can't get the new TV to work properly."
I am already familiar with causative have and get that can be used in such a structure, but the question is that why it has used infinitive after get? Or should I know something that don't know yet!
Does it make sense to you?
Thanks.
 

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  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    #3
    Some causative verbs — such as make, have, let, help — take the bare infinitive. Others — such as get, force, persuade, require — take the to-infinitive.

    She made her son tidy his room = She got her son to tidy his room
    I can’t make this TV work properly = I can’t get this TV to work properly​
     
    Parsi
    #4
    Thank you for your comment dear LB. But, Frankly, I am rather confused.
    I have already created some threads about this topic:
    give/have/get your car fixed
    Chapter two has you start writing stand-alone Python scripts ...
    And others:
    get something to work
    As you can see, we can have all variety of verbs including to infinitive, bare infinitive, past participle and present participle after causative have (that sometimes can be replaced with get).

    He was able to get the computer working. :tick:
    He was able to to get the computer worked. :cross:
    The movie got me crying. :tick:
    The movie got me cried. :cross:

    The reason: The part participle (worked, cried) is used to create a passive. Both of these two sentences require an active verb, a passive has no sense (the computer was worked :cross:, I was cried :cross:) whereas the computer was working and I was crying are both good.

    It is possible, however, to use get + part participle in sentences like: Driving dangerously will get you killed :tick: because the passive sentence you will be killed has a meaning.
    Why like the above-mentioned quote, we don't use present participle here??
    I can't get the TV working properly.
    Furthermore, I have never seen the 'to infinitive' after get before. The usage in the book really sounds outlandish to me!!!
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    #6
    Because working is a continuous process, it is a possible alternative here: once you get the TV working, the TV is working. But with events, this is not possible. I can't get this window :tick:to open / :cross:opening. (You can also say 'get this window open', with adjective 'open'.) I can't get my dog to sit when I tell it to. (Not :cross:sitting - we want the dog to perform an action, not be in a process.)
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    #7
    Why like the above-mentioned quote, we don't use present participle here??
    I can't get the TV working properly.
    Furthermore, I have never seen the 'to infinitive' after get before. The usage in the book really sounds outlandish to me!!!
    You were asking about the infinitive, with the “to” in bold. Sorry if I misunderstood your concern.

    But yes, as entangledbank explains. in this instance you could also say “I can't get the TV working”; but it’s less idiomatic, and sounds odd with the adverb. It’s much more suitable as the construction you’d use afterwards.

    I can’t get the TV to work properly! (later, after fiddling with it…) I’ve got the TV working again!

    As for get and the to-infinitive, it’s extremely common as a causative construction — especially as a negative, question or exclamation:

    I can’t get the car to start · Please get your dog to stop barking! · Did you get him to admit it was his fault?
     
    Parsi
    #8
    Thank you so much for your contribution to this thread. @Linkway & @entangledbank & @lingobingo
    You've clarified the matter very well.
    Because working is a continuous process, it is a possible alternative here: once you get the TV working, the TV is working. But with events, this is not possible. I can't get this window :tick:to open / :cross:opening. (You can also say 'get this window open', with adjective 'open'.) I can't get my dog to sit when I tell it to. (Not :cross:sitting - we want the dog to perform an action, not be in a process.)
    in this instance you could also say “I can't get the TV working”; but it’s less idiomatic, and sounds odd with the adverb. It’s much more suitable as the construction you’d use afterwards.
    These are the points that I should have understood. :idea:

    There is still another question. What if we want to paraphrase the sentence with "have"?
    To me, it can be either in the form of A or B.
    A_ I can't have the TV working properly.
    B_ I can't have the TV work properly.
    What do you think about it?
    Thanks.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    #9
    No, that doesn’t mean the same thing at all. These are examples of causative “have”:

    The TV isn’t working properly. I’ll have someone take a look at it.
    I had the TV fixed by a repairman.​
     
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