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I have read an older thread, presenting the following sentences:

Having advised many of your colleagues (yet having had no one stand up for me when the shit hit the fan)...


Having advised many of your colleagues (yet having had no one to support me when I faced adversity)...

I do not get that - why there is TO missing in the first sentence? I know there is 'have sb do'something, is this the case? But how is that different from the other one then? I assume the sentence mean "yet I had nobody who stood up for me" - which would iMHO require 'to'?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

The first case is the construction already mentioned: "Have somebody do something";a causative type structure which can also express bad experiences. The second case is a sentence with the verb "have", here showing possession and meaning that she didn't have anyone to support her.

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A very simple but clear answer - I did not know that have sb do sth can be used also like this. – Pietrosek Apr 27 '14 at 10:21

Having advised many of your colleagues (yet having had no one to support me when I faced adversity)...

means that there was no one there to support me (they were against me, apathetic, on the other side of the world ... one could probably predict that this would happen: no supporters).

Having advised many of your colleagues (yet having had no one support me when I faced adversity)...

means that no one actually came to my aid (though there may possibly have been some who I might have expected to do so: supporters who let me down).

Looking at the role of to in a sentence such as

[A] I've got my daughter to help me (with the meaning 'My daughter's here to help').

We might start by contrasting with the similar-looking

[B] I got my daughter to help me.

In B, the construction is a complex catenation (cf I forced / persuaded / asked my daughter to help me) requiring, in this instance, the to-infinitive (here, to help). You can't say 'To help me I persuaded my daughter'.

This is not the same construction as in A, where I'd say

'to + infinitive' is an idiom (the French would use 'pour + infinitive') meaning

'that/who can/will + infinitive', or

'that/who is available/around to + infinitive'.

You can invert with this construction: 'To help me, I've got my two daughters and their husbands.' 'To help him, he's got the latest revision aids'.

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Well but it does not say anything about the grammar I asked (usage of the TO preposition). Thanks – Pietrosek Apr 27 '14 at 9:49
To signal the change in meaning. 'I'm lucky that I've got my daughters to help [me]' means 'I'm lucky that I've got my daughters who can/will help [me]' 'I've got my daughters helping [me]' means they're actually doing good things at this time (this minute, this day, this week ...). – Edwin Ashworth Apr 27 '14 at 9:53
Sure, in your sentence it is clear but in these examples one is with and the other without TO and I am trying to understand the grammar behind that. Especially the one without TO - what kind of meaning of HAVE is that. I would say "having had no one supporting me" – Pietrosek Apr 27 '14 at 9:54
What I meant was what the answer below said: have sb do sth can be used to express negative experience and this is the case here. My question was about the difference between "have sb do" and "have sb to do" – Pietrosek Apr 27 '14 at 10:22
The only reason there is a negative emphasis in your example sentences is the use of the negative 'no one to stand up for me' / 'no one standing up for me'. 'I remember having had thousands to support me' is 'positive'. The positive-negative aspect is nothing to do with 'having had X V-ing' or 'having had X to V', but on what the verb V is and whether there's a 'not'. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 27 '14 at 14:13

Have someone do something (without the preposition to) can be used in some contexts as:

When you are in charge of someone, like an employee, you can "have them" do things for you. For example:

I'll have my assistant send you those documents later today.

Why don't we have the waiter bring us the check now so that we can leave quickly?

You also use this expression to ask someone to pass a message like this:

Can you have her call me?

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