One-Point English Lesson: Let Vs. Make

Michael Grammar, Vocabulary Leave a Comment

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Let and make can sometimes be confusing in English, so I thought we could look at these words today.

We use let when we talk about permission to do something. Someone lets another person do something. For example, I want to leave the office early today. When I ask my boss if I can leave early, he said yes. He gave me permission to leave early. In this situation, I can say he let me leave early.

The structure is [Person A] lets [Person B] base verb. Here are a few more examples:

  • The boss let me take a day off tomorrow.
  • I wanted to try my sister’s new iPad and she said OK. She let me use her iPad.
  • Tom let me drive his new Jeep.

We use make when we talk about being forced or required to do something. Someone makes another person do something. For example, my boss required me to work overtime in order to finish a project. I didn’t want to do so, but he forced me do it. In this situation, I can say he made me work overtime.

The structure is [Person A] makes [Person B] base verb. Here are a few more examples:

  • The boss made me work overtime.
  • Jim’s wife made him clean out the garage.
  • The teacher made us write several reports this week.

Has someone let or made you do something recently? Have you let or made someone do something recently? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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