We  can use this structure with these two different meanings:


1. When we arrange for somebody to do something for us


Compare these two sentences:

1.       I had repaired the car  (= I did it myself)

2.     I had my car repaired  (= I arranged for it to be done)


In sentence 1, we use the active to describe what we do ourselves or when we know who’s doing the job.


I had repaired the car    or The mechanic had repaired the car


In sentence 2, we use the passive to say that a job is being done for us, but we don’t know or don’t want to say who is doing it. We use the structure “have something done” to stress the fact that we are “causing” someone to do a job for us.


I’m going to cut my hair  ( I am going to cut it myself)

I’m going to have my hair cut  (* I am going to pay somebody to do it for me)


Whether we pay or not for this service is irrelevant, what we emphasize is the fact that somebody is doing it for us.



The form “get” is often used instead of “have”.


He gets his letters posted.

2. To experience something


We can use this pattern  with the meaning "experience something", often something unpleasant.


We had our cameras stolen

The car had its aerial pulled off





Exercise 1: Form

Exercise 2: