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ESL forum > Ask for help > Have something done Vs Passive with one complement    

Have something done Vs Passive with one complement


Have something done Vs Passive with one complement
Hi!! How are you??
Let īs see if you can help me with this. I always have the same doubt!

The active sentence : The mechanic repaired my car. Which is the passive??

1: I had my car repaired by the mechanic
2: My car was repaired by the mechanic for me

I think it is the first option because somebody does the action for you, however, I don īt know why the second one is incorrect.
Can you help me?
Thank you!!
Have a nice Sunday!

4 Apr 2010      

United States

The second is the passive, and "for me" is added, since it isn īt in the original active sentence. The basic passive form would be "My car was repaired by the mechanic." Remember that the passive always has a form of "be" and the past participle. The first is the causative form, which uses "get" or "have" with the past participle.
My hair was cut by the barber. - Passive
I got my hair cut by the barber. - Causative

4 Apr 2010     


Hello lovinglondon!

As far as Iīm concerned, both sentences are written in the passive form because you get somebody else to do something for you (in this case, the mechanic who repairs your car).
Have something done, also called Causative Have, is considered a special type of English passive. Moreover, we can use GET instead of HAVE to suggest managing to do something that implies some effort to do the action.

Hope it helps you! Smile

Enjoy your day!

4 Apr 2010     


Thank you very much. So, if I have one active as the above, I can do the passive (causative or not) in both ways, can īt I?

So, my students will do the rewriting depending on the start I give to them , I suppose:

The mechanic repaired my car

My car..... (was repaired by the mechanic)

I... (had/got my car repaired by the mechanic)

Am I right?

Thank you again!

4 Apr 2010     


Thatīs one of the ways I use to create my activities: completing the sentence providing the beginning. Other options are creating a new one containing a similar meaning using the word given (example: GET o HAVE as a tip to use the Causative form) or directly asking them rewriting each sentence given so that they contain a form of have/get something done.

If you are working with ss of Non-Compulsory Secondary Education the use of paraphrasing is always a useful technique to develop their creativity and autonomy.


4 Apr 2010     


Yes Mariquita,
I īve been working with non.compulsory secondary education students for many years now, and this is the way I embittermy students!! They hate rewriting!! However I also consider this is a good way to know if they understand.

With the causative "have something done"...I thought it was always used when somebody does something for you. However, I have checked that you can do it both ways.
Thank you!

4 Apr 2010