Grammar Talks 4-02 Causative Verbs

Job Duties

Sarah gives job tips for working for the U.S. State Department.

Todd: So Sarah, you were a teacher for the State Department?

Sarah: Yes, that's right. I was with the English language fellows program.

Todd: Oh wow. Where did you teach?

Sarah: I taught in Mexico.

Todd: Oh, that's great. Wow. So when you teach for the State Department, do they let you wear anything you want? Do you have to wear a suit or anything?

Sarah: They let you wear anything that is professional. You don't have to wear a suit, but you can't wear jeans.

Todd: Okay. Do they let you teach anything you want?

Sarah: No, they don't let you teach anything you want. You do have a lot of freedom, but they have some requirements. So you might have to teach university students beginning English or you might have to teach university students engineering English. You have freedom how you're going to teach those subjects, but they don't let you choose the subjects.

Todd: Okay. When when you work for the US government, do they make you do a lot of paperwork?

Sarah: They do. They do make you do a lot of paperwork. When I applied for the job, it was the most difficult job application I'd ever done. They make you fill out a lot of forms and they make you ask your references to fill out a lot of forms too. And then when you do move to the country, they make you fill out even more forms for the work visa and the residency visa.

Todd: Oh Wow. That sounds pretty harsh.

Sarah: It is. It's really difficult. They do try to help you with the forms, but the official rule is that they will only help the official employee. I traveled with my husband and three kids. They let me bring my family, but they didn't help me with the paperwork for my family.

Todd: Oh Wow. So does the government help you get acclimated? For example, do they help you learn the language? Do they help you with moving costs? Do they help you a get acquainted with the local culture?

Sarah: Some of those are yes and some are no. They don't help you learn the local language that is up to you individually. They do help you become acclimated to your town. They travel with you to your town, they make your host institution find you housing. So that's really nice. They help you with the housing, they make your institution find you housing. And they let you have some time to get used to it before you're required to be working 40 hours a week.

Todd: So you've worked for a university, you've worked for the US government. Have you worked for language schools?

Sarah: I have. When I worked in Korea, I worked for an independent, privately owned language school and we taught after school lessons.

Todd: So which, which did you prefer? Like which ones did you like?

Sarah: Well, my favorite has been the university job because they let you choose your own hours. You have to teach the classes, but if you don't have class they let you plan your lessons from home or whatever time of day that you want to do it. I like that. But when I was working for the State Department, they made you work regular 9:00 to 5:00, Monday to Friday hours. They made you work those hours.

Sarah: I liked the private language school. It was a good job for me at the time, but they also make you work the hours that they need you, which is 2:00 to 7:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday. And those are not the best hours to be working, so I didn't like that. But the language school helped me the most. They taught me language, they took me on trips. They really treated me like a part of the family in a way that the university and the State Department didn't. So that was really a good memory, a good job.

Todd: So if you can rank the jobs between university working for the US government and a language school, what would you rank one, two, three?

Sarah: Just exactly how you said at university would be the top. The State Department would be very close, very close second, and then the language school would be a little farther, farther down. The pay was a lot lower. The hours were not very good. I didn't have freedom.

Todd: hey make you work more.

Sarah: Make you work more, yeah.

Todd: Right. Okay. That's awesome. Thanks.

Sarah: Thanks.

Causative Verbs

The verbs make, let, and help can be causative verbs.

One agent (person or thing) is causing an action in another agent (person or thing).

Point 1: (help, make, let) + person + base verb + object

She let me leave the office early.
My mom made me take out the trash.
My sisters often helps me do my taxes.

Point 2: Let

He let me use his car.
They let us stay in their house.
The waiter let us change tables.
The teacher didn't let us leave early.

Point 3: Make

He made me carry his bags.
My mom made me finish my homework.
I will make you pay for this! (I will get revenge!)
We didn't make him obey the rules.

Point 4: Help

He helped me move into my house.
I'm helping her write her essay.
I can help you do that.
She didn't help me do anything.

Answer the following questions about the interview.

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