...make you do something

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marcogaiotto

Senior Member
Italian
Hello! Can you help me, please? In the following sentence, "making" correct? Or had I better say "letting"?
"She didn't succeeded in making him understand how serious the situation was."
(from a grammar exercise about choosing among "to let/get/make/ask someone (to) do something", no further context given, they are single sentence)
Thanks a lot beforehand!
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Both are grammatically correct, but their meanings are different. If she tried to help him understand, then making is correct. If she simply allowed him to try to understand through his own efforts, letting would be correct. I think it's probably making him here, since it mentions her success or failure. That means she did something that she could succeed or fail at, more than just leaving him alone.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If she simply allowed him to try to understand through his own efforts, letting would be correct.
    I find this meaning to be strange.
    "To let him know" - To tell him, to inform him - The problem setter is probably trying to confuse you over the use of "know" vs "understand".
    "To let him understand" - :confused:
    She failed to allow him. She allowed him to do it but he didn't do it. How has she failed?
     
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