Have Something Done – Have and Get as Passive Causative Verbs

To have something done – this is a common structure we use to talk about actions where someone performs a service for us.

In this video you’ll learn how the structure works and how to use have and get in the passive as causative verbs – verbs that indicate one thing causes another.


Click here to learn more about causative verbs.

Have something done video script

There are two ways to clean your kitchen floor. One is to clean it yourself. And the other is to have it cleaned for you. We can clean our teeth ourselves, but we can also go to the dentists to have them cleaned. Someone else performs the service. It’s the same with your hair. You can do it yourself, or you can go to the hairdressers and have it done for you.
So let’s look at these structures: doing it yourself, having it done for you. We’ve got the verb ‘have’, the object, and then the third part of the verb. You can change ‘have’ to whatever tense you need. Don’t confuse this structure with the present perfect. What’s happening here is we’re talking about a service that someone else is performing for us. And something else. In spoken English, we often use ‘get’ instead of ‘have’. It means the same thing. Let’s look at some more examples. Ready?

I’m getting hungry.
Are you? What shall we have for lunch?
Let’s get a pizza delivered.
Love it! Good idea!

Sorry, it’s hard to hear you. We’re having some work done on our heating system.

Carter’s dirty, Jay. Are you going to give him a bath?
I think I’ll take him to the pet store and have him washed.
Hmph!

Jay, there are nearly fifty thousand miles on the clock.
I know, we have to get it serviced.
Yeah.

Do you have the contract?
Yes.
What does it say?
I don’t know. It’s in Hungarian.
Then we need to get it translated.

It’s my mother’s birthday next week.
Oh. Shall we get some flowers delivered?
Good idea.

What time is it?
It’s time you got that watch repaired. Three o’clock.

Did you spot them all? Let’s review.

Let’s get a pizza delivered. Love it! Good idea!
We’re having some work done on our heating system.
I think I’ll take him to the pet store and have him washed.
I know, we have to get it serviced. Yeah.
Then we need to get it translated.
Oh. Shall we get some flowers delivered?
It’s time you got that watch repaired.
There are two ways to clean your kitchen floor. One is to clean it yourself.
And the other is to have it cleaned for you. You missed a bit.

Click here to watch this video with a clickable transcript.
Click here to learn more about causative verbs.
Click here to see more grammar videos.

2 thoughts on “Have Something Done – Have and Get as Passive Causative Verbs

  • August 8, 2018 at 10:13 pm
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    I loved your site! So useful and easy to understand. From now on, I will always visit it

    Reply
    • August 8, 2018 at 11:05 pm
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      We’re delighted you’ve found us and and so glad you like the site Sidnei.

      Reply

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