13.6 Mandar and Hacer in Causative Constructions

The verbs mandar and hacer are used with an infinitive or a subjunctive clause to express the notion of having something done, or having someone do something. Mandar, in one of its common meanings (“to order”), is the somewhat stronger of the two verbs, but they are otherwise translated synonymously when used in this construction. Whenever you see either verb followed by an infinitive, be aware that the meaning is likely causative (called such as one is causing something to happen.)

Using both verbs as well as both an infinitive and a subjunctive clause, here are the most common possible ways in which to translate the sentence “They had (made [ordered]) Armando (to) come”:

Mandaron venir a Armando. Hicieron venir a Armando.
Mandaron que Armando viniera (viniese). Hicieron que Armando viniera (viniese).

Study these further examples:

Les hice pintar las paredes de las sala. I had them paint the living room walls.
Haremos que Regina venga mañana. We’ll have Regina come tomorrow.
Mandó podar los arbustos. She had the bushes pruned.

Vocabulario básico

Verbos:

esforzarse (ue) (en)- to make an effort (to)
obstinarse (en)- to persist (in)
podar- to prune, to cut
suspender- to fail (academically) (false friend)

Sustantivos:

el arbusto- shrub
la cerradura- lock (as in cerrar, “to close”)

Last revised on June 25, 2021.