Have something done
To have something done means we don't do the job ourselves but we ask someone to do it for us. Usually, we use this special passive construction to speak about paid services, like hairdressing, cleaning, medicine, car service centres and so on.
Theresa had her hair cut. She didn't cut her hair herself, she went to the hairdresser.
John is going to have his car serviced. He isn't servicing it himself, he is taking it to the garage.
How often do you have your apartment cleaned? How often do you use cleaning services?
The grammar of "have something done"
have + object + past participle
- have — changeable part, can be conjugated, can be put into infinitive form or any verb tense
- object — something we do the action with
- past participle — the third form of the main verb
We can make negative or question sentence by changing "have".
|Sentence type||have something done|
|Positive||She has her hair cut.|
|Negative||She doesn’t have her hair cut.|
|Question||Does she have her hair cut?|
We can also put "have something done" into any tense we need. All you have to do is put "have" into this tense. The rest, the object and the past participle, remains unchanged.
|Verb tense||have something done|
I have my door painted.
|Present Continuous||I am having my door painted.|
|Present Perfect||I have had my door painted.|
|Present Perfect Continuous||I have been having my door painted.|
|Past Simple||I had my door painted.|
|Past Continuous||I was having my door painted.|
|Past Perfect||I had had my door painted.|
|Past Perfect Continuous||I had been having my door painted.|
|Future Simple||I will have my door painted.|
|Future Continuous||I will be having my door painted.|
|Future Perfect||I will have had my door painted.|
|Future Perfect Continuous||I will have been having my door painted.|
We can also combine "have something done" with modal verbs (should, must, might…) and verbs that require "to" (to be going to, want to, need to etc). In this case, we'll keep "have" in the infinitive form.
Doctors say you should have your eyes tested every 2 years.
I must have my elbow joint examined.
Are you going to have this socket repaired at last?
We want to have our walls painted but we can’t decide about the colour.
The main verb (the past participle) goes after the object. Be careful with the word order!
Our neighbours are having a new house built.
If I have this coat altered a bit, it'll look really nice.
You can also use get instead of have. The meaning will be the same but "get something done" is less formal.
Helen got her hair dyed pink. = had her hair dyed pink
We get sushi delivered if we don't feel like going out. = have sushi delivered
I need to get my nails done. = have my nails done
Have something done in a negative sense
We can use "have something done" to say that something bad was done to somebody by another person.
Jeremy had his wallet stolen. His wallet was stolen.
Claude has his nose broken when he was playing volleyball. His nose was broken.
The company had its equipment confiscated. Its equipment was confiscated.