Have/Get Something Done

Have/get something done” is a useful English construction that we use when we want to talk about arranging for someone else to do something for us. It’s a way to emphasize that we didn’t do the action ourselves, but rather someone else did it for us.

Services you pay someone else to do for youget/have + object + past participleI get my car washed every week.
She had her hair cut at a fancy salon.
They are getting their house painted next month.
Emphasizes that you pay someone to perform a service for you.
Formal situations, arranging for something to be donehave + object + past participleWe had our website redesigned by a professional agency.
He had his presentation translated into three languages.
We had our legal documents notarized by a certified notary.
Indicates that you arranged for a service to be done by someone else in a formal context.
Things that happen to you, often negative experienceshave + object + past participleShe had her purse stolen while she was shopping.
We had our flight delayed for several hours due to bad weather.
He had his car broken into last night.
Describes events or actions that occur to you, usually negative experiences, without your organization or control.
Negative formdid not have/get + object + past participleI didn’t have my computer repaired.
They didn’t get their house cleaned before the guests arrived.
She didn’t have her dress altered in time for the event.
Expresses the negative form of arranging or paying for a service to be done.
Question form
Simple past
Did + subject + have/get + object + past participle?Did you get your passport renewed?
Did he have his car washed?
Did they have their house repainted?
Forms a question to inquire about arranging or paying for a service to be done.

Grammar practice

Speaking Practice

  1. Get into pairs or small groups.
  2. Take turns being the speaker and the listener.
  3. Open a box and look at the picture carefully
  4. Start speaking about the picture using have/get something done.
  5. Flip the card to see the answer (there are several correct answers, this is just one alternative)

Example: He hasn’t gotten his hair cut yet.


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