Have Something Done or how to respect someone else's work

I fixed my car.

She cut her hair.

They renovated their house.

All these sentences are examples of the fact that either someone has a “clever pair of hands”, or for some reason we did not fully take into account the grammar, describing the actions of people.

In Russian, we do not focus on who performs or performed the action, we share the result. For example, by saying “They renovated their house”, we don’t imagine the owners of the house with tools in their hands laying electric wires. However, this is precisely what the active voice implies.

People of English-speaking cultures will say in this case, “They had their house renovated,” using the very construction that we’ll talk about now.


Have + object + past participle

or just

Have something done


  1. Such a construction is needed to inform that we have arranged for someone (a professional in their field) to do something for us.

I had my car fixed. (It’s not me who personally repaired the car, but the masters at the station did it)

She had her hair cut. (She visited a specialist in the hairdresser)

They had their house renovated. (They hired builders and they did their job)


  1. We also need the Have something done construct to say that something unpleasant  happened to someone.

Mike had his phone stolen yesterday. (Someone stole the phone and of course this is an unpleasant incident)

The had their house broken into.


  1. In the informal communication, we can use the verb Get in the construction instead of Have.

Did you get your car washed?

She got her kitchen equipment delivered and installed.

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