Causative sentence 1 – causative verbs( make/have/let someone to do)

사동 means ‘make/have/change someone or something to do’, which is called ‘causative sentence’.  Unlike 피동(passive sentence: Clike here to study passive voice), most 사동 sentences can take objects. Therefore you can make adjectives to be verbs if you use 사동 sentences. For example,

책상이 높아요. The desk is high.
(제가) 책상을 높여요. (높이+어요.) I make the desk higher. (높이다 : make it high)

사진을 봐요. I am looking at pictures.
사진을 보여 주세요. (보이+어 주세요) Please show me pictures. (to let me look)

There are two ways to make a causative sentence, you can use a causative verb or adding -게 하다 after a verb. If you use a causative verb, it means the action of the subject in the sentence directly affects to the object. If you use -게 하다, then it is usually means that the subject orders/commands/tells the object to do, which is indirect. 

Let’s look at causative verbs first. Causative verbs are already fixed, they have -이-, -히-, -리-, -기-, -우-,-추- in the middle of words.

Causative verbs

  • Verb with -이- 
보다 (to see) 보이다 이 사진들을 다 봤어요. 다른 사진을 더 보여 주세요. I looked all of these pictures, please show me more pictures.
먹다 (to eat) 먹이다 저는 밥을 먹었어요. 이제 아이한테 밥을 먹여야 돼요. I ate, now I have to feed the kid.
죽다 (to die) 죽이다 사람이 죽었어요. 그런데 누가 죽였는지 몰라요.  A person died, but I don’t know who killed the person.
녹다 (to be melt) 녹이다 얼음이 다 녹았어요. 꼭 얼음을 녹여서 넣어야 합니다. Ice is melted. You must thaw out ice first and put it in.
끓다(to be boiled) 끓이다 물이 끓어요. 물을 끓일 때 조심하세요. Water is boiling, please be careful when you boil water.
붙다 (to be attached) 붙이다 제 동생이 껌을 머리에 붙였어요. 껌은 붙으면 잘 안 떨어져요. My sister put gum on my hair. It is hard to take off when Gum is attached to something.
속다 (to be fooled) 속이다 친구가 저를 속여서 화가 많이 났어요. 바보처럼 속은 저도 잘못이지요. My friend tricked me, so I was very upset. It is also my fault to be fooled like an idiot.
줄다 (to decrease) 줄이다 수입이 줄었어요. 음식비를 줄여야겠어요. Our income decreased, we should reduce cost of food.
높다 (to be high) 높이다 저는 높은 책상을 좋아해서 책상을 높였어요.  I like high desks, so I made it higher.
  • Verbs with -히-
앉다 (to sit) 앉히다 아이를 식탁이 앉히는 일이 쉽지 않아요. It is not easy to have the kid sit down.
읽다 (to read) 읽히다 선생님이 저한테 영어 책을 읽혀서 긴장했어요. The teacher made me read an English book, so I was very nervous.
좁다 (to be narrow) 좁히다 의자 사이가 너무 넓어서 좁혔어요. It was too wide between chairs, so I make them narrower.
넓다 (to be wide) 넓히다 길을 넓히는 공사를 하고 있어요. There is a construction to make the street wider.
맞다 (to be right) 맞히다 문제를 맞히면 세탁기를 드립니다. Send you a washing machine if you guess right.
입다 (to wear) 입히다 날씨가 추워서 아이한테 코트를 입혔어요. The weather is too cold, so I dressed the kid a coat.
눕다 (to lay down) 눕히다 아이를 눕히고 저도 잘 거예요. I will sleep after I lay him/her down.
밝다 (to be bright) 밝히다 이 사건의 진실을 꼭 밝혀 주세요. Please reveal the truth of this case.
익다 (to be ripen/be done) 익히다  고기를 잘 익혀서 드세요.  You should eat meat after it is done.
  •   Verbs with -리-
알다(to know) 알리다  무슨 일이 있으면 알려 주세요. Please let me know if there is a problem.
살다(to live) 살리다  살려 주세요! Help me!
울다(to cry) 울리다  왜 동생을 울리니? Why are you making your brother cry?
돌다(to turn around) 돌리다  머리를 왼쪽으로 돌려 보세요. Please turn your head to the left.
날다(to fly) 날리다  종이 비행기를 날리러 밖에 나갔어요. I went out to fly a paper plane.
듣다(to listen) 들리다  이상한 소리가 들려서 무서웠어요. I was scared because I heard some weird sound.
놀다(to play) 놀리다  친구들이 저를 물고기라고 놀려요. My friends make fun of me, they say I am ‘fish’.
늘다(to increase) 늘리다  우리 애가 너무 빨리 커서 옷을 아무리 늘려도 옷이 작아요. My kid is growing so fast, his clothes are small although I made them longer many times.
마르다(to be dry) 말리다  지금 머리를 말리고 있어요. I am drying my hair now.
흐르다(to flow) 흘리다 영화가 너무 슬퍼서 많은 사람들이 눈물을 흘렸어요. The movie was so sad, so many people cried.
얼다(to be frozen) 얼리다 지금 안 먹을 거면 냉동실에 얼리세요. If you are not going to eat it, you should freeze it in the freezer.
  •   Verbs with -기-
웃다(to laugh) 웃기다  친구가 너무 웃겨서 많이 웃었어요. My friend was so funny, so I laughed a lot.
벗다(to take off) 벗기다  방에 들어오기 전에 아이들의 신발을 벗겨 주세요. Please take the kids shoes off before they enter the room.
씻다(to wash) 씻기다 아이들을 씻기고 나면 이미 12시예요. After I wash my kids, then it is already 12 o’clock.
숨다(to hide) 숨기다  누나 신발을 숨겼다가 엄마한테 혼났어요. I hid my sister’s shoes, and I was scolded by my mom.
옮다(to move) 옮기다 새 집으로 짐을 옮기고 있어요. I am moving some stuff to the new house.
남다(to be left) 남기다  음식을 남기지 말고 다 먹어. Do not leave the food.
맡다(to be in charge) 맡기다  저한테 일을 맡겨 주세요. Please let me do the work.
신다(to wear shoes) 신기다  아이들 양말을 신기는 게 제일 힘들어요. It is the most difficult to put socks on kids’ feet.
굶다(to miss meals) 굶기다 아이들의 밥을 굶긴 엄마가 경찰에 잡혔습니다. The mom who did not give meals to kids was arrested.
감다(to wash hair) 감기다  아이들 머리를 감길 때 이 샴푸를 쓰세요. Use this shampoo when you wash kids’ hair.
  •   Verbs with -우-
자다(to sleep) 재우다 지금 아이를 재우고 있으니까 조용히 해 주세요. I am putting my baby to sleep, please be quiet.
타다(to ride) 태우다 제가 지하철 역까지 태워 줄게요. I will give you a ride to the subway station.
깨다(to wake) 깨우다  내일 중요한 회의가 있으니까 6시에 깨워 주세요. I have an important meeting, please wake me up at 6.
서다(to stand) 세우다  저기 차 앞에서 세워 주세요. You can pull over in front of that car.
차다(to be filled) 채우다  병에 물을 가득 채우세요. Fill up the bottle with water.
쓰다(to wear hats) 씌우다  햇볕이 강하니까 아이들한테 선글라스를 씌워 주세요. The sun is very strong, please put sunglasses on the kids.
비다(to be empty) 비우다 떠나기 전에 쓰레기통을 비워 주세요. Please empty the trash can before you leave.
크다(to be big) 키우다  저는 고양이 두 마리를 키우고 있어요. I have two cats.
  • Verbs with -추-
낮다(to be low) 낮추다 (to lower) 아이가 자고 있어요. TV 소리를 낮추세요. The kid is sleeping, please turn the TV sound down.
늦다(to be late) 늦추다 (to delay,postpone)  회사에 일이 생겨서 저녁 약속 시간을 늦췄어요. Somethings happened at work, I delayed my dinner plan.

Verb+게 하다

As I said above, if you use -게 하다, it usually means a subject orders/commands/tells an object to do the action. For example, 엄마가 아기한테 밥을 먹여요. (먹이다 is the causative verb for 먹다) : In this sentence, the mom is using her hand and feeding the baby. The baby doesn’t do anything except for opening the mouth 🙂  엄마가 아이한테 밥을 먹게 했어요. (먹게 하다 is indirect causative by ordering) : In this sentence, the mom told the kid to eat (by him/herself).  아빠가 아기를 재워요. (재우다 is the causative verb for 자다) : We can imagine that the dad is holding the baby, maybe the dad is singing a lullaby or he is reading a book to put the baby to sleep. 고양이가 저를 못 자게 해요. (자게 하다 is indirect causative by ordering) :  In this sentence, we can imagine that the cat is meowing(maybe shouting) at me and let me not sleep.

You can listen to the audio files by clicking here. 

3 thoughts on “Causative sentence 1 – causative verbs( make/have/let someone to do)

  1. Hello! Did you ever end up making a ~게 하다 page to go along with this one? I didn’t see it linked and google just brings me here ^^;

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