Let and Make

Let and Make Usage

Some students instinctively understand the differences between let and make quite easily, and others just need a little more time.

I’m going to explain the basic usage of let and make and then share some practice exercises with you.


Let is used most often when we are given permission to do something we want to do. For example: My mother lets me stay up late on the weekends.We want to do it and she says it is ok to stay up late. The negative form of this is: My mother doesn’t let me stay up late during the week. Even though I want to stay up late, she tells me no.


Make is used most often when there is something we really do not want to do, but somebody forces us to do it anyway. For example: My mother makes me clean my room every week. We really do not want to clean the room, but she insists we do it anyway. The negative form is: My mother doesn’t make me clean the whole house.We do not want to clean all of the house, and she says that we do not have to.

Rules for using let and make

Here are some practice sentences using let and make that will use one of the forms discussed here, including the negative form. (Answers at the end of the post.)

1.  My boss _______________ me arrive at work on time every day.

2.  My boss _______________ me take a coffee break each morning.

3.  My boss _______________ me leave early on Friday afternoon.

4.  My boss _______________ me stay late for overtime every night.

5.  Why does she _______________ me call her every night just to say goodnight?

6.  Why doesn’t the coach _______________ me play on the team? I have been practicing!

7.  My teacher _______________ me write a 1500 word essay every week.

8.  My teacher _______________ me play with my cell phone in class.

9.  My father _______________ me drive the car on the weekend.

10. My father _______________ me clean the car when I’m done using it.

Keep practicing and listening to how native speakers use the forms of let and make. Very soon you will automatically know which one to use because you will be able to hear if it sounds correct.

Answers 1-10

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