UNIT 44. Have/get something done

Australia-07 Learning english

get は口語的で、have よりちょっと強い響きを持つ


Study this example situation:

The roof of Lisa’s house was damaged in a storm.
Yesterday a worker came and repaired it.

Lisa had the roof repaired yesterday.

This means: Lisa arranged for somebody else to repair the roof.
She didn’t repair it herself.

We use have something done to say that we arrange for somebody else to do something for us>

Lisa repaired the roof. (= she repaired it herself)
Lisa had the roof repaired. (= she arranged for somebody else to repair it)

“Did you paint your apartment yourself?” “Yes, I like doing things like that.”
“Did you have your apartment painted?” “No, I painted it myself.”


Be careful with word order. The past participle (repaired/cut, etc.) is after the object:

have Object Past Participle
Lisa had the roof repaired yesterday.
Where did you have your hair cut?
Our neighbor has just had air conditioning installed in her house.
We are having the house painted this week.
How often do you have your car serviced?
Why don’t you have that coat cleaned?
I don’t like having my picture taken


Get something done

You can also say “get something done” instead of “have something done” (mainly in informal spoken English):
– When are you going to get the roof repaired? (= have the roof repaired)
– I think you should get your hair cut really short.


Sometimes have (or get) something done has a different meaning. For example:

Eric had his license taken away for driving too fast again and again.
or Eric got his license taken away for driving …

This does not mean that he arranged for somebody to take his license away.
It means that his license was taken away by the police.

With this meaning, we use have (or get) something done to say that something happens to somebody or their belongings.
Usually what happens is not nice:
– James got his passport stolen. (= his passport was stolen)
– Have you ever had your flight canceled? (= has your flight ever been canceled?)