Words Students Confuse - Make it + verb

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,184 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

A student recently said, "I couldn't make it goes any faster."

While at first this might seem correct, "It goes fast," the sentence is incorrect and she should have said, "I couldn't make it go any faster."

Why?

In this case, it is not the subject of the verb go, but is part of a construction with makeIf the student were talking about her brother, she could say, "I couldn't make him go any faster.

The construction is "Make + preposition + verb in the infinitive".

The verb "make" is the verb that is conjugated in this phrase. For example, "She makes it seem simple to knit dolls, but she has years of practice." or, "He made us understand how the machine worked in two quick lessons."

Be careful how you use "make it" in your sentences!

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