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He had me play baseball VS He had me playing baseball

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
What's the difference between (a) and (b)?
(a) He had me play baseball.
(b) He had me playing baseball.

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin
 

Michael2

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Just the normal difference between the simple and progressive.
It's a strange thing to have someone do though!
 

hirashin

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How about this? Would all be used?
(a) When I was a boy, my father made me play baseball.
(b) When I was a boy, my father made me playing baseball.
(c) When I was a boy, my father had me play baseball.
(d) When I was a boy, my father had me playing baseball.
 

Michael2

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Well, B would be impossible because you can't use the structure make+object+...ing
The others could all be used structurally but with different nuances. It depends on the context the sentence is in.
 

johnnyG

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Just the normal difference between the simple and progressive.
It's a strange thing to have someone do though!

I agree on both points.

@hirashin The sentences you've presented are stripped of context, and as such, it's hard for anyone to evaluate them. Grammatically, they are correct, but then accepting them as normal utterances is something different.

Let's look at the (b) sentence:
(b) He had me playing baseball.

This sounds a little off. Like, why would someone have you playing baseball?

But change that a little to something situationally more appropriate:

(b') I grew up on a dairy farm. Even when I was ten years old my father had me milking cows.

That sounds completely normal.

Please think on this a little, and if you still have a question, let me know.
 

hirashin

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johnnyG, thank you for the help.
I would like to know how different in meaning Pattern (a) and Pattern (b) are.

(b') I grew up on a dairy farm. Even when I was ten years old my father had me milking cows.

Can you also say this?
(b'') I grew up on a dairy farm. Even when I was ten years old my father had me milk cows.
 
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