I let my son study.
If you say you 'let your son study' then this means your son really wants to study and you gave him permission.
If your son is like most kids then they don’t want to study. The majority of kids would prefer to play video games or watch YouTube these days.
Let’s look in more detail about the reason you will probably never say 'I let my son study.'
The reason is this. A lot of people are getting confused.
What are they getting confused with? The difference between LET and MAKE.
There is a wonderful verb in Japanese. It’s させる.
If you translate it into English, you MAKE or LET somebody do something .
Now here’s the KEY POINT.
MAKE and LET have very different meanings. They’re almost the opposite of each other.
Let’s take a closer look at the verb MAKE. There are 2 ways to use it.
The first one is when you FORCE them to do it. You can use words and encourage them or you can physically force them.
Her mother makes her wash the dishes after breakfast
Does she want to wash the dishes? Of course not. She makes her do it.
How about this one?
He makes his personal assistant polish his shoes.
Is it part of the job? I don’t think so. The personal assistant is probably very unhappy about it, but he makes him do it.
If we want to be even stronger, we can use FORCE instead of MAKE.
The police officer forced the thief to get up against the wall.
He physically pushed him up against the wall. Did the thief want to do it? Absolutely not. He wanted to run away and escape.
Let’s talk about the second meaning of make. You can also use MAKE when something or someone has an effect on another person or thing.
You can use it with a verb or an adjective.
Let’s look at using make with a verb.
Rainy days always make me want to stay in bed.
This song makes me wanna dance.
My kids sometimes make me wanna scream.
Let’s look at using make with an adjective.
Horror movies make me uncomfortable for days.
Going to Disneyland makes me so happy.
Too many late nights might make you sick.
We never say ‘make me fun’
Will Ferrell’s movies make me fun. ❌
In this case it’s more natural to say ‘make me laugh.’
Will Ferrell’s movies make me laugh. ⭕️
Can we use the ‘ing’ adjectives with MAKE?
No, not usually
The ED form is sometimes used but it’s much more natural to use the verb form.
This attraction makes me excited. ❌
This attraction excites me. ⭕️
This book makes me interested. ❌
This book interests me. ⭕️
There is one more structure that I have to talk about.
Make someone something. It sounds weird, but let me show you how it’s used.
We made him the leader of the new product launch team
The company made him president due to his amazing results
My daughter was made captain of the tennis team.
So going back to the original sentence.
I let my son study.
It should be, 'I made my son study.'
So how do we use the verb LET?
This is when you are giving permission. You are saying it’s ok to do it. You’re giving your blessing.
Let’s look at how to use it in a positive way
My mum always let me stay up late at the weekend when I was a kid.
That restaurant is a BYO. They let you bring your own drinks.
I let my dog lie on the sofa and he absolutely loves it.
However it is quite often used in the negative way too.
I don’t let my children play video games on weekdays.
Our boss doesn’t let us leave until we finish all the jobs for the day.
My wife doesn’t let me go out drinking more than once a week
There are some similar verbs to let such as 'permit' or 'allow.'
Permit is a much more formal expression and you’ll find it more in written English
or in a more official setting.
Allow can be used casually or more formally. It’s a bit more flexible.
How about the verb ADMIT? Well that’s a whole other story. I’ll be talking about that in another video.
Let's take a look at 5 example sentences.
(1) I made my son clean his room as the mess was starting to spill out into the hallway.
To spill out means to overflow because there is so much of it.
(2) I let my daughter use all her New Year money in one go. She wanted to buy a new camera lens.
To do something 'in one go,' means to do it all at once - he spent all of his money.
(3) The song “Make you Happy” by NiziU was a huge hit back in June of 2020.
'Make' is used a lot in song title and lyrics. By the way can you still do the Make you Happy dance?
(4) When the carpenters made a mistake with my home renovations, I made them redo it.
Instead of saying the Japanese English ‘reform,’ it’s better to say renovations or home improvements.
(5) Why do you let him push you around like that? You gotta stand up for yourself!
To stand up for yourself means to defend yourself.
You have to be careful when using 'make' and 'let' as they can sometimes change the meaning of the entire sentence. But don't worry, once you remember the basic principles it's actually quite simple. Please watch the VIDEO LESSON on YouTube!
Thanks for reading!
give your blessing
BYO （Bring Your Own）
in one go
stand up for