Make and keep 2

You saw earlier in Make and keep 1 that we normally use an adjective in the construction make somebody something. However, we can also use a noun instead of an adjective.

cause + make + somebody + effect (noun)

make somebody laughrozśmieszyć kogoś

make somebody crydoprowadzić kogoś do płaczu/łez

make somebody thinkdać komuś do myślenia

One thing to be aware of is that if you use a noun then you need to add –ing when you use the verb keep.

keep somebody laughingrozśmieszać kogoś

keep somebody cryingdoprowadzać kogoś do płaczu/łez

keep somebody thinkingdawać komuś do myślenia

Make and keep 1

When you want to describe cause and effect in Polish, you often have a specific verb for a specific situation e.g.

Anna uszczęśliwiła Marka.

This has the meaning that Marek became happy (effect) because of Anna (cause).

English doesn’t usually have a special verb for this type of situation and we use a special construction instead:

cause (person or thing) + make + somebody + effect (adjective)

Anna made Marek happy. – Anna uszczęśliwiła Marka.

However, there is a problem in English that the past simple can be used to show something which happened only once in the past OR something which happened regularly in the past. This means that the example above can be translated in two different ways in Polish.

Anna made Marek happy. – Anna uszczęśliwiła Marka.

Anna made Marek happy. – Anna uszczęsliwiała Marka.

If it is important to show which meaning we want to use, we can use time phrases or adverbs.

Anna made Marek happy yesterday. (one time) – Anna uszczęśliwiła Marka wczoraj.

Anna always/often made Marek happy. (regularly) – Anna (zawsze/często) uszczęśliwiała Marka.

Using this way of talking about cause and effect means that we only need to change the adjective and we change the meaning to fit a different situation, we don’t have to learn lots of different verbs.

make somebody sad – zasmucić/zasmucać kogoś

make somebody rich – uczynić kogoś bogatym

make somebody angry – rozzłościć/rozgniewać kogoś

make somebody jealous – wzbudzić zazdrość u kogoś

Instead of the verb make, we can also use the verb keep in the same construction.

cause + keep + somebody + effect

This use of keep is rather difficult to translate directly into Polish because it means that an effect created earlier is continued.

Anna kept Marek happy. –  (Kiedyś) Anna uszczęśliwiła Marka, a potem uszczęśliwiała go ciągle.

This difference in meaning is very subtle and in Polish you would normally just use the niedokonany verb to translate the sentence.

Anna kept Marek happy. – Anna uszczęśliwiała Marka.

However, in English, we use make to focus on a single action and we use keep to focus on continuing a state which was created earlier.

Here are the different forms for past, present and future:


Anna made Marek happy. (one time or regularly) – Anna uszczęśliwiła/uszczęśliwiała Marka.

Anna kept Marek happy. (all the time) – Anna uszczęśliwiała Marka.


Anna makes/keeps Marek happy. (regularly) – Anna uszczęśliwia Marka.


Anna will make Marek happy.  (one time or regularly) – Anna uszczęśliwi/będzie uszczęśliwiała Marka.

Anna will keep Marek happy. (all the time) – Anna będzie uszczęśliwiała Marka.