The English causatives with have and get

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  1. We‘re having the roof repaired in the summer.
  2. At this hotel, you can get your dry-cleaning done for free.
  3. He had to have his head shaved when he joined the army.
  4. We had the doctor check her blood pressure.
  5. I‘m getting Alex to pick my parents up from the airport.

have/get something done

We use have/get something done to say that someone does something for us, usually when we have arranged it. We do not say who does the action. We generally use get for more informal situations.

The structure is have/get + object + past participle:

  1. I had my apartment valued last week.
  2. We’re having our office decorated at the moment.
  3. Where do you get your hair cut?
  4. I‘m getting my car serviced tomorrow.
We also use this structure to say that something unwelcome or negative happens to us. We do not use get in this way.
  1. We had my car broken into.
  2. Sarah ‘s had her bike stolen.

have someone do something

get someone to do something

We use have/get someone (to) do something when we arrange for somebody to do something for us. With this structure we say who does the action.

The structures with have and get are slightly different:

have + someone + infinitive (without to)

  1. I had someone clean the carpets.
  2. We’re going to have some of the students teach one of the lessons.

get + someone + infinitive (with to)

  1. I got someone to clean the carpets.
  2. We’re going to get some of the students to teach one of the lessons.

Practice

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