I can't get the new TV to work properly

Discussion in 'English Only' started by This_Is_Patrick, Feb 11, 2019 at 7:40 PM.

  1. This_Is_Patrick

    This_Is_Patrick Senior Member

    PERSIAN GULF
    Persian - Persian Empire
    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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  2. grassy

    grassy Senior Member

    Warsaw
    Polish
    Leaving out the "to" would make the sentence incorrect, if that's what you're asking about.
     
  3. lingobingo

    lingobingo Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    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​
     
  4. This_Is_Patrick

    This_Is_Patrick Senior Member

    PERSIAN GULF
    Persian - Persian Empire
    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).

    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!!!
     
  5. Linkway Senior Member

    British English
    Both of the above are in good English,

    There is a very slight difference of emphasis, but it is usually not significant.
     
  6. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    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.)
     
  7. lingobingo

    lingobingo Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    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?
     
  8. This_Is_Patrick

    This_Is_Patrick Senior Member

    PERSIAN GULF
    Persian - Persian Empire
    Thank you so much for your contribution to this thread. @Linkway & @entangledbank & @lingobingo
    You've clarified the matter very well.
    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.
     
  9. lingobingo

    lingobingo Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    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.​
     
  10. This_Is_Patrick

    This_Is_Patrick Senior Member

    PERSIAN GULF
    Persian - Persian Empire

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