Causative verbs show
that somebody/something is indirectly responsible
for an action. The subject doesn't perform the
action itself, but causes someone/something
else to do it instead. For example:
- Yesterday I had my hair cut.
I didn't cut my own hair, but I made someone
else do it for me instead - I "caused"
them to cut my hair.
Have is a common
causative verb. Instead of doing something ourselves,
we "have" someone else do it instead.
It has the following form:
The verb "to have"
+ object + past
participle. For example:
- I had my
- Did you have
your computer fixed?
Sometimes we use
have as a causative verb when we intend
to perform the action ourselves. For example:
- When will the report be ready? I'll do it
by tomorrow morning. >>
- When will the report be ready? I'll have
it done by tomorrow morning.
By using the causative
the second sentence takes attention away from
the doer of the action, and gives more attention
to the action being done. It sounds polite and
Get is often
used instead of have. For example:
- I got my computer fixed - I had my computer
fixed. These two sentences mean the same thing.
- I got my jacket cleane. - I had my jacket
cleaned. These two sentences mean the same thing.
Causative verbs are
often used with negative experiences. In these
situations it's more common to use have. For
- I had my wallet stolen. (I didn't actually
cause my wallet to be stolen - someone stole
my wallet from me)
- She had her window smashed.
For more information
on Causative verbs see: