We use the causative form (to have something done) to show that we have arranged for somebody (usually an expert) to do something for us.
The word order of a sentence in passive causative form is:
|subject||to have||something||past participle||(when)|
|For whom the action is performed||Put the verb to have in the corresponding verb tense||The object on which the action is performed||What is done (use the past participle of the main verb)||When the action is performed|
Active voice: They washed my car yesterday. (They did it)
Causative form: I had my car washed yesterday. (I didn’t do it)
In causative form we don’t usually mention the person who does the action. However, if we need to add this information, we use the “by phrase”.
I had my clothes washed by my mum.
Transforming sentences from active voice into causative form
|tense||active voice||causative form|
|Present simple||He washes the car every week.||He has his car washed every week.|
|Pr. continuous||He is washing the car now.||He is having his car washed now.|
|Present perfect||He has just washed the car.||He has just had his car washed.|
|Present perfect continuous||He has been washing his car for hours.||He has been having his car washed for hours.|
|Past Simple||He washed the car yesterday.||He had his car washed yesterday.|
|Past continuous||He was washing the car at 6:00 yesterday.||He was having his car washed at 6:00 yesterday.|
|Past Perfect||He had washed the car before he left for work.||He had had his car washed before he left for work.|
|Past perfect continuous||He was bored because he had been washing his car all morning.||He was bored because he had been having his car washed all morning.|
|Future simple||He will wash the car tomorrow.||He will have his car washed tomorrow.|
|Future continuous||He will be washing his car at 6:00 tomorrow.||He will be having his car washed at 6:00 tomorrow.|
|Future Perfect||He will have washed the car by 3:00 tomorrow.||He will have had his car washed by 3:00 tomorrow.|
|Future perfect continuous||By noon tomorrow he will have been washing his car for hours.||By noon tomorrow he will have been having his car washed for hours.|
|Future with “going to”||He is going to wash the car later today.||He is going to have his car washed later today.|
|Modals||He should wash the car.||He should have his car washed.|
|Present infinitive||He needs to wash the car.||He needs to have his car washed.|
|Perfect infinitive||He must have washed the car by now.||He must have had his car washed by now.|
|-ing form||He insisted on washing the car.||He insisted on having his car washed.|
Note that causative form in perfect continuous tenses doesn’t sound very natural and is rarely used.
- We can also use the causative form to talk about an unpleasant experience.
She had her car stolen last week.
- We can use the verb get instead of have (usually in informal situations).
John will get his car fixed soon.
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