Have something done

by John May 05, 2021
Have Something Done

Do you do your own chores or are you one of the many who prefer to get somebody else to do them for you?

We are not all perfect at everything and there are some jobs which are better done by other people. Let’s leave it to the professionals, shall we?

Perhaps you are a great painter or ‘get a kick’ out of cleaning things. If that is not you or maybe you just do not have time to do everything, you might pay another person to paint your house or clean your car.

In this blog we are going to talk about how to communicate this in English.

Chores or actions we don't normally do ourselves

Think of some chores or actions you do in your life. They could be:

Washing the dishes
Updating your Facebook status
Studying English.

We normally use the present simple to talk generally about these activities.

“I wash the dishes in my house.”
“I rarely update my facebook status.”
“I always study English.”

Now think of some chores or actions that you don’t normally do. They could look like this:

Paint your house.
Cut your hair
Fix your phone.

Ok, so maybe during lockdown you have been experimenting with painting your house or perhaps, if you are fed up, you have even cut your own hair and ended up looking…interesting! However we normally don’t do these things ourselves. Most people definitely don’t know how to fix their own phones. So what happens when we don’t do them? …We get somebody to do them for us!

To do this we use the structure:

to have + something(object) + done(past participle)

For example:

“I had my house painted by the painter.”

We can use by + a person if we want to say who did the action.

To have something done

We use to have + object + past participle when we want to say that somebody does the action for us.

Questions, tenses and more!

When our house is freshly painted and you have guests over, it might catch their eye, they might even pay you a compliment.

“Did you have your house painted? It looks amazing!”

Here we can see this structure can be used in question form also. How is it done?

We use Do/Did + have + object + verb(past participle) to ask a question in the present or past simple.

“Have you had your cut? it’s so nice!”

Here we have another example but using the present perfect tense. This would imply a recent activity.

We use Have + had + object + verb(past participle).

Using different tenses

The structure have something done can be used will all the tenses. Just remember to change the verb “to have” to the right tense. Like in the passive voice, the action verb is always in the past participle (third form). Here are some examples using different tenses. Note that the only thing that changes is the verb have and the use of an auxiliary verb.

Present simple:           I have my hair cut every month.
Present continuous:   I’m having my hair cut next week.
Present perfect:          I’ve had my hair cut.
Past simple:                I had my hair cut last week.
Future ‘going to’:       I’m going to have my hair cut next week.

Of course, we can also use this structure in negative sentences:

“I can’t wait for the nail salons to open again. I haven’t had my nails done in ages.” 

Just put the first auxiliary verb in the negative to do this. We often use done as the verb for many situations like nails, hair, house (if there was work completed on it) etc.

Here are some more examples using negative and question forms:

I haven’t had my car serviced this year.
We’re not going to have our house painted until next year.
Kathy didn’t have her teeth cleaned by the dentist.
Are we going to have the TV repaired soon?
Have you had your garden landscaped?

To have something done: Questions and Negatives

We use Do + have + object + past participle when we want to make a question with the present simple.

We use don’t + have + object + past participle when we want to make a negative sentence with the present simple.

Test Yourself


Have something done

Test your knowledge on what you have just learnt.

1 / 5

What’s another way to say “The cleaner cleaned my house yesterday”?

2 / 5

What would your friend say if they saw you with a new hairstyle?

3 / 5

If someone paints your nails every month, what can you say?

4 / 5

If you have always painted your house yourself you can say:

5 / 5

I needed a professional photo so...

Your score is

Get instead of have

We can also use the structure with the verb get instead of have.

Here are some examples:

I got my face painted by  the street artist.
I get my college fees paid by the government.
They get their breakfast made by their mother.

The construction is the same but with ‘get’ instead of ‘have‘:

Subject + get + object + past participle


Chores: jobs around the house like: cleaning, washing etc.

Update: To make something more recent with newer information or software.

Lockdown(Collins dictionary word of the year) : If there is a lockdown in a building or the building is on lockdown, nobody is allowed to enter or leave because of a dangerous situation.

Imply: suggest

Fee: An amount of money that we pay for a service like college fee/passport application fee etc.

Phrasal Verbs

Fed up: when you are bored and tired of something


Get a kick out of(something): If we get a kick out of something it means it excites and entertains us

Catch your eye:When something catches our eye, it means we find it attractive or it distracts us

Test Yourself



1 / 4

I ________________ out of playing computer games.

2 / 4

When I was out at the pub a handsome guy/beautiful girl ____________.

3 / 4

I'm just ________ with staying inside, I hate this lockdown.

4 / 4

I cannot go out today because I have many ______ to do in the house.

Your score is

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Thank you for reading our post. You can find more English grammar tips elsewhere on our site and if you’d like information on our English courses in Dublin, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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