passive – have sth done

Passive – have sth done. Learn how to form and when to use causative form (have something done). You will find here both theory and exercises.

Do you want to learn passive voice ? – check this post.

Passive – have sth done / causative form

When do we use it?

“Have something done” or so called causatve form is one of the passive voice structures. It is used when we want to talk about an activity that has been done for us. In causative sentences we are not the “doer”, the executor of the activity. And as in all passive voice constructions we usually don’t know or it is not important who the agent is.

Compare the sentences:

a) I washed my hair. vs b) I had my hair washed.

a) I am cutting my hair vs b) I am having my hair cut.

In sentences A we are the agent or the doer whereas in sentences b it is someone else carrying out the task.

How do we form it?

structuresubjecthavesomethingdone (III form)
Present simpleIhavemy haircut
Present continuousIam havingmy haircut
Past simpleHehadhis toothtaken out
Past continuousHewas havinghis carrepaired
Present perfectWehave hadour houserenovated
Present perfect continuousTheyhave been havingtheir cattaken care of
Past perfectShehad hadher wallspainted
Past perfect continuousYouhad been havingshoppingdone.
Future simpleHewill havehis bikefixed.
Future continuousWewill be havingour baggagedelivered

Exercise 1. Decide if the sentences are expressed in active voice or in causative.

  1. I am watering flowers in the garden.
  2. My fence is being repaired.
  3. She is walking the dog every morning.
  4. I had my dog walked yesterday by my neighbour.
  5. I am going to wash the dishes later.
  6. They had had their flat redecorated before their moved in.
  7. I have my children looked after during the week.
  8. The boss is having lunch right now.

Practise online

Answer key

Exercise 1.

  1. active voice
  2. causative
  3. active voice
  4. causative
  5. active voice
  6. causative
  7. causative
  8. active voice

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