"Have Something Done"
One of the
ways we use the passive
is to talk about an action without saying who did it.
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
example, we can see this person relaxing because someone else is taking
care of his problems!
we express this meaning with the passive voice?
There is a special passive construction with have:
something (the object) +
I have my business taken care of.
(Somebody is taking care of my business.)
has his dog walked.
(Somebody walks his dog.)
In this construction, like in all passive sentences, we need to use the
Remember that for regular verbs,
this is the same as the simple past.
However, for irregular verbs,
the past participle can be
Be sure to review them and use the correct form of the verb
We can use this construction in the following
- We make someone else do something for us, or we pay someone
do something for us.
- Something negative happens and we have no control over it
bad happens to us).
First, let's talk about when someone else does something that we ask of
- Jeremy's car is in terrible condition! He is going to have his car fixed.
He hopes it won't be too expensive!
This means that Jeremy will not do the work himself. He will pay a
professional mechanic to do the work for him. He will have the work done
to his car.
- The living room in Terry's new house is a terrible
salmon pink color. She wants to have it painted
before she moves in.
- Lizzy can't talk right now. She's having her hair cut
by the barber at the moment.
- I need to go to the dentist today to have a tooth pulled.
I hope it's very fast!
- Will you have
your party catered, or are you going to cook all the food
- Emily had
her dress sewn by a professional seamstress. She wanted it
to look perfect for her special day!
We can use this construction in any of the English
. All we need to do is use the correct form of have
the verb tense we are using. The rest of the construction (object +
past participle) remains exactly the same.
Now, let's look at the second meaning of have + object + past participle
We can also use this construction when something negative happens to us
when we don't expect it or want it.
- The homeowner had
all his money stolen! The police still haven't caught the
The owner of the money did not want it to be stolen. This was a
negative experience that this person suffered.
- The children are all upset because they had their toys taken
away. They wanted to keep playing!
- The event was supposed to be outside, but look at all this
rain! The organizer, Ms. Huffington, is terribly upset because she's had her big event ruined.
- Bruno is still not back at work. He says he's had his heart broken!
It's so terrible that he's going through that divorce.
- Phil doesn't want to come back to class. He had his feelings hurt
last week, and he just isn't enthusiastic about the subject anymore.
Poor Phil! He suffered a negative experience that he did not expect! He
certainly didn't want to be teased!
These constructions can seem confusing at first, but with practice,
you'll feel comfortable with them. If you're still not sure how to use
the passive voice, look at more
. And keep on practicing!
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