This paper studies, on the basis of corpus data, the licensing and blocking factors in the lexical-constructional integration process of causative frighten verbs into a number of constructions. This study is particularly compatible with the central postulates of Goldberg’s (1995, 2006) Cognitive Construction Grammar. Thus, the analysis is carried out on the basis of construction-specific and more general constraints spelled out in order to avoid the mismatch between coercing and coerced constructional elements. We devote our attention to constraints involving conceptual compatibility between lexical items and constructional configurations, and to the metonymic and metaphoric activity which underlies such compatibility. We also explore the pragmatic and discourse-functional features which influence acceptability in constructional environments. In addition, two families of constructions are identified and discussed as separate from other constructions: the fake intransitive and the cause subject constructions. We offer a fine-grained analysis of both constructional families and of each of the members that each accommodates.