Being Forceful

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Strong, assertive, and powerful are words that describe a forceful person. This could be your boss, a parent, spouse, teacher, any authority figure, perhaps you! So how do you describe these forceful actions when speaking English?

Certain verbs are used to say that a person is forced to or made to do something  (make, force, have, get).

My boss made me work until 10 p.m.

The thief forced Carlo to hand over all his money.

David had the barber cut his hair.

I finally got her to see my side of the story.

These words can be divided into two groups: some of the words need "to" (the infinitive), but others don't. For example,

+ verb (without infinitive)

make [SOMEONE] do

have [SOMEONE] do
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
+ to verb (infinitive)

force [SOMEONE] to do

get [SOMEONE] to do

Our coach makes us practice on Sunday. Our coach forces us to practice on Sunday.

The customer had the waiter bring a menu. The customer got the waiter to bring a menu.

Obviously some situations don't require extreme force, merely a mild request. Can I get you to determine which is which in the above examples?

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