Spanish causative verbs: Dejar.

spanish causative verbs dejar

When speaking Spanish, there are plenty of ways to express your ideas. Native speakers, in general, they don’t even realize what kind of grammar structures are using. After all, they just learn how to speak by listening to others. Los verbos causativos are part of their daily lives and conversations. They are often used not only during informal but formal conversations.


If you ever heard someone saying “Fui a la peluquería y me corté el cabello”, they are using Dejar causativo. And, guess what? They didn’t even notice. If feel you’re in the middle of the road and you seek to improve your Spanish skills, learning how to use los verbos causativos and dejar causativo is a must. They will help you express your thoughts in a completely different way and sound like a native. So, if you’re convinced of becoming better and better, you´re in the right place. Keep reading.


What is un verbo causativo?


In Spanish and English, there are causative or verbos causativos. Most of the time, they help you express that someone else did something for you. Take for example verbs like hacer, or tener. Of course, you can use them in a non-causative way. Yet, native speakers make use of the causative form.


Let’s imagine the situation where your washing machine got broke, you have to call the technician, he/she visits you and fixes the broken appliance. Even though you didn’t carry out the action and you didn’t fix it yourself, you would probably say “Reparé la lavadora” (I fixed the washing machine).


Sometimes, los verbos encliticos take action in these scenarios. After all, you need reflexive pronouns but you won’t use them reflexively. To understand causative verbs is quite important to have a context. And, depending on the region you are, phrases and expressions might have quite different meanings.


How to use Dejar as causativo


Dejar is one of the most common verbos causativos. Generally, people use it to express “let someone/something do something else”. In Spanish, that would be “Dejar que alguien o algo haga otra cosa”. Let’s first see an example


María dejó a sus hijos estar despiertos hasta las 10 / Maria let her children stay up until 10


As you may realize, even though the verb “dejar” is conjugated using the pronoun “She” because of “María” the main is expressed by “estar despiertos”. In other words, María is letting his children do something else. Let’s see other examples to get a better idea.


¿Por qué dejaste los huevos hirviendo? / Why did you leave the eggs boiling?


Dejame ir por favor / Please let me go

Se cayo el vaso de la mesa. / The glass fell off the table.


Please note that in the last example, the expression seems like a passive voice. Yet, you need context to understand how it could be a causative verb. And, to help you avoid misunderstandings, let’s say that you accidentally tripped over the glass. To put it in another way, you were the one that made the glass fall from the table but you only said “Se cayó el vaso…” as if the glass, by itself, did it.


If you want to be formal when using dejar as causativo, you only need to conjugate it using “usted” or “ustedes”. It will help you a lot at work when you want to show respect or give orders. So, if you already know what the imperative is, you probably will see some verbs causativos with el imperativo.


Other verbos causativos


There are several other verbos causativos that native speakers use during their daily conversations. Here, you will see the most common like hacer, conseguir, and ayudar. However, we can basically make any verb causativo using los pronombres reflexvios.


To refresh your mind, los pronombre reflexivos are me, te, se, nos, os. Here are some examples.


Se limpió la habitación. / The room was cleaned.


Le secarán la ropa en la secadora / He will get his clothes dried in the drying machine.


Even though you should not memorize formulas because they sometimes can make learning grammar even more complicated, you can build a sentence using the following structure.


Subject + verbo causativo + object + verb


For example, if you say “te haran pagar por lo que has roto” or “No me dejaran pasar por la puerta”.


Now, let’s first learn how to use conseguir. When using conseguir as verbo causativo, you do it in the sense of “asking for a favor”. Whether the action you’re requesting is a favor or not, it’s a polite way to ask or tell someone to do something. Let’s see a few more examples.


María consigue que sus asistentes le hagan las cotizaciones.

Maria gets her assistants to do the quotes for her.


Conseguí que mi hermano me llevara de viaje con él.

I got my brother to take me on a trip with him.

Of course, you can use these verbs either in the past tense or the future tense when necessary. Here are some other examples.

El coche se lavó la semana pasada. / The car was washed last week.


Tendré mi apartamento pintado y remodelado el año que viene.

I will have my apartment painted and remodeled next year.


Mi profesor de manejo me hará practicar estacionamiento muchas veces.

My driving instructor will make me practice parking many times.


Generally speaking, los verbos causativos are part of every Spanish speaker life. And, they use it so frequently that they probably don’t realize when they do it. Practicing is key to get better and improving your skills. Thus, there’s no doubt that you need to put time and effort into los verbos causativos the become better at speaking Spanish. Don’t forget that dejar causativo is among the most popular causative verbs. And, you always need to use reflexive pronouns to build these kinds of sentences.










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