DIFFERENCE - Make sb do sth vs Cause sb to do sth? Help!

Hi, could you tell me what is the difference between these 2 sentences:

  1. “I made him catch the bus”
  2. “I caused him to catch the bus”.

Thank you in advance!

They are almost the same in meaning but I’d use #1.

Hi Alex,

‘Make someone do something’ suggests that you force/compel them to do something as in: I had no choice in the matter because he made me sign the agreement.

‘Cause’ would not often refer to what someone does but what something does to make something happen/ to be the reason why a result happens as in: The hole in the middle of the road caused him to steer the car immediately to the left.


so, the sentence “I caused him to catch the bus” is not correct since it is not WHO causes us to do sth, but WHAT causes us to do sth, right?

Hi Alex,

'‘What causes’ is, as I suggested, more common. The sentence you quoted

is not acceptable.


Alan, thank you very much! :slight_smile:

I found some sentences in which “cause” can be used in the way that the doer is a human being, just for your reference.
I’m sorry if I caused any confusion.
I hope the children haven’t caused you too much trouble.


Yes, you can use ‘cause’ with a human subject but that is when ‘cause’ is followed by a direct object. I was talking about the construction: cause+object+infinitive as in: The storm caused him to swerve while he was driving the car.