This thought caused him to smile

99bottles

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This thought caused him to/made him smile with amusement.

Which is correct? I know that make means force in such cases, which is not what I'm looking for. Then again, I often hear You make me smile, which obviously doesn't mean You force me to smile. So what do I put here?
 

emsr2d2

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Use "made him". It's clear no one's forcing him to smile. The cause-and-effect is clear.
 

Tarheel

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You could also say:
.
The thought put a smile on his face.
 

Tdol

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The police made him smile when he made his false confession.
You can talk about force in this case. But when something funny makes me smile, there's no force.
 

jutfrank

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The pattern make somebody do something does not always have a sense of forcing. In fact, I'd guess that in most cases it doesn't.
 
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