Make Someone/Something Do/Does/Doing/to Do Something | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 29 May 2024)

'Make Someone Do Something', 'Make Someone Does Something', 'Make Someone Doing Something', or 'Make Someone to Do Something': Which One Is Correct?

When make means 'to cause or force someone or something to do something' and is followed by another verb, use the bare infinitive (i.e., the infinitive form of a verb without to):

Mr Bean always makes everyone laugh.
Mr Bean always makes everyone to laugh.
Mr Bean always makes everyone laughing.

What made them lie to us?
What made them lied to us?
What made them to lie to us?
What made them lying to us?

The photograph makes Susan look like a teenager.
The photograph makes Susan looks like a teenager.
The photograph makes Susan to look like a teenager.
The photograph makes Susan looking like a teenager.

They made Paul wash all the dishes.
They made Paul washes all the dishes.
They made Paul washed all the dishes.
They made Paul to wash all the dishes.
They made Paul washing all the dishes.

However, when make is in the passive, use the infinitive with to:

Paul was made to wash all the dishes.

We were made to work extremely hard.

Should they be made to pay for the damage?

✅ Students will be made to wear masks during exams.

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Examples from the Media

There's something about reunions which makes everyone behave in the manner of their teenage selves, much like a family Christmas back at home. —The Telegraph (2019)

Dreams never die, but you must act to make your dream come true. —South China Morning Post (2008)

Some students said they thought it was "about time" teachers were made to adhere to a dress code, while others thought their teachers maintained appropriate standards of dress. —The Age (2007)

Lawmakers should be made to see the results of gun violence. —The Washington Post (2022)


Choose the correct answer to complete each sentence.

1. My parents used to make me do/doing/to do all the housework every day.

2. What makes everyone dislike/dislikes/disliking/to dislike the teacher?

3. John was made clean/cleaning/to clean the toilet.

4. The lazy boys made Tom do/does/did/doing/to do all their homework.

5. Make your dream come/comes/coming/to come true!

Answer Key

1. do    2. dislike    3. to clean    4. do    5. come

Real-World Examples of Misuse

The phrase makes your home come true assumes that Squarefoot is the subject. If the phrase is intended as a command, the verb makes should be changed to make.

1. Using each blank instead of the blanks can enhance clarity and ensure that students understand they need to provide a connective for every blank space in the task.
2. Adding a colon enhances clarity and introduces a list format for the connectives.
3. Announced is a more precise and impactful verb choice. It conveys the action of making the news known publicly and loudly.
4. The verb make would probably not be the choice of a native speaker in this context. Ensure is one possibility.
5. The one-word form everyone is required. It refers to all the people in a group and can be replaced by everybody.
6. The verb following make should be a bare infinitive; that is, the base form of the verb.
(Source: St. Joseph's Primary School)
(Also by the Same School: 1/2/3/4/5)

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