English Lesson: Causatives – Have Something Done

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English Lesson: Causatives – Have something done

Today was such a busy day. I had my hair cut today. Having your hair cut always makes you feel good, doesn’t it? I think most people would answer yes, of course this depends on the person cutting your hair. If they do a good job, then you’ll feel great. If not, then….you know! After that I picked up my shoes from the repair shop. I had to have new heels put on. Oh, and then I took Happy to the vet to have her nails clipped. She hates it when I do it, so I have to take her to have it done.

Today, let’s look at the grammar we sue with have to talk about getting things done. Do you know how to use this grammar? Take a look at the paragraph above and then check today’s lesson:

Compare these two sentences:

  1. I cut my hair. ← This means, I cut my own hair. I did the action of cutting.
  2. I had my hair cut. ← This means, someone else cut my hair. Someone else did the action of cutting.

When we ask someone or pay them to do a job for us, we use the causative form.

The structure is: [someone] + has + [something] + pp Verb (past participle).

                                    I            had      my hair         cut.

Here is another example:

  1. Jack repaired his computer. (He did it himself)
  2. Jack had his computer repaired. (He asked someone to repair the computer)

Here are some sentences for practice. Complete the blank space with the causative form using the (clues in parentheses). The correct answers are below:

1. A: Did you lose your key?

    B: Yes, I need to __________________________  (make another key).

2. A: The living room looks super!

    B: Thanks. I just __________________________  (paint the house).

3. A: The heel fell off my shoe.

    B: Where will you __________________________  (repair it)?

4. A: How do you like my hairstyle?

    B: It’s great! Where do you usually __________________________   (cut your hair)?

5. A: Oh no! I spilled tomato juice on my dress!

    B: You’ll need to __________________________  (clean it) right away!

Answers:

A: Did you lose your key?

B: Yes, I need to have another key made.

A: The living room looks super!

B: Thanks. I just had the house painted

A: The heal fell off my shoe.

B: Where will you have it repaired?

A: How do you like my hairstyle?

B: It’s great! Where do you usually have your hair cut?

A: Oh no! I spilled tomato juice on my dress!

B: You’ll need to have it cleaned right away!

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