use of "make" when it means a person gets other to accomplish a work

AzahAzah

Senior Member
India - Hindi
1. The chef made him a special cake.
2. The boss made me work an extra day.

Both of these sentences have been taken from the following link:

Make - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

The first sentence means, from the explanations discussed in the given link it seems to me, the chef has made a special cake for him, i.e subject of this sentence is doer of this action. But the second one means, not boss (subject) but other person was doer of a work. In the first sentence other person used/got the chef to make a special cake, and the chef was in subject posoition of the first sentence, while in second second the boss forced/got other person to work for an extra day and this person is not the subject of that sentence.

Structure or construction of these sentences are same, though these two sentences work in different ways. These two sentence can easily make sense who is the doer of action. But in many cases it may create confusion for the people like me learning English as a second language, because they may not understand easily who is doer and who is using/forcing/getting other person to perform that work.

Now I want help from the experts of this group. I hope they may explain it elaborately in the way they did it before.

Thanks!
 
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    In 1. The chef is the subject because he made "the cake (object) for him"
    In 2. The boss is the subject because he made (forced) "me (object) to work an extra day"
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The verb make has several meanings. One is to create (e.g: to make a cake); another is to oblige (e.g: to make someone work).

    You can usually tell which is which, because the "oblige" version has another verb depending on it. Compare:
    • The boss made him a cake.
    • The boss made him work overtime (second verb, depending on make=oblige)
     

    AzahAzah

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    The verb make has several meanings. One is to create (e.g: to make a cake); another is to oblige (e.g: to make someone work).

    You can usually tell which is which, because the "oblige" version has another verb depending on it. Compare:
    • The boss made him a cake.
    • The boss made him work overtime (second verb, depending on make=oblige)
    The verb make has several meanings. One is to create (e.g: to make a cake); another is to oblige (e.g: to make someone work).

    You can usually tell which is which, because the "oblige" version has another verb depending on it. Compare:
    • The boss made him a cake.
    • The boss made him work overtime (second verb, depending on make=oblige)
    Does your first sentence (The boss made him a cake) mean the boss made a cake for him? I think still now it conveys the boss got him to make a cake. At the same way the sentence, The chef made him a special cake, means the chef got him to make a special cake, which is illogical.

    A lot of thanks for your help.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    Does your first sentence (The boss made him a cake) mean the boss made a cake for him?
    Yes.

    I think still now it conveys the boss got him to make a cake.
    No. That would be "the boss made him make a cake," or, perhaps less awkwardly, "The boss had him make a cake."

    At the same way the sentence, The chef made him a special cake, means the chef got him to make a special cake, which is illogical.
    No, it means "the boss created a special cake for him."

    Side note: We generally "bake" cakes rather than "make" them.
     
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