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to have something done - English usage

English usage: to have something done

by | 18 Feb 2018 | English Language


To have something done or to get something done is a sentence structure that is very useful and yet I noticed in my English classes that many learners of English are often unsure as to how to use it.

The good news is that this type of sentence is not difficult to learn and use!

Let’s compare:

  • I do something ≠ I have / get something done
  • I did something ≠ I had / got something done

Clearly, when you say that you do something, it is because the person does it is you.


But, nobody wants or can do everything in life and we need professionals or other people to do something for us. That’s when we ask someone else to do the thing we want done.

In such cases, to express the fact that someone does or did something for us, the sentence structure we need  is:


have something done or get something donehave or get + object + past participle


Let’s look at a few examples:


When you do something yourself: When someone else does something for us:
The roof was damaged, so we fixed it. We had / got the roof fixed.
I cut my hair. I had my hair cut.
He repaired his car. He got his car repaired.
She changed the kitchen tap. She got the kitchen tap changed.


I used examples in the past tense but of course you can use any tense you need:

  • We’re having our room repainted. → Someone is repainting our room for us.
  • He would have his wisdom teeth removed if it was necessary. → Someone–hopefully a dentist! ;)– would remove his wisdom teeth if it was necessary.
  • They’ll have their pizza delivered. → Someone will deliver their pizza.


Can you think of more examples? Please help others and share them in the comments section below!


There you are, you can now call your hairdresser, plumber, roofer or mechanic to ask for their service. Congratulations! 🙂


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