Can "they had it repaired" mean that they repaired it themselves? Why?

I've looked into this and can't find anything specific. Also, I've asked about a dozen people what they think and only one person said, "Yes."

  • 1
    I think 'they had it repaired' can only mean that they had someone else repair it. Apr 27, 2015 at 12:20
  • 1
    Normally, where "they" is a family, say, it would mean someone else repaired it. But if "they" is an organization it may mean that someone in the organization repaired it.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 27, 2015 at 12:22
  • Are you maybe confusing the meanings of "They had it repaired" versus "They had repaired it" ? Slight word order change, the former means someone else did it, the latter means they did it themselves.
    – Flater
    Apr 27, 2015 at 12:23
  • Have/Get something done: if you 'have something done', you get somebody else to do something for you. englishgrammarsecrets.com/havesomethingdone/menu.php
    – user66974
    Apr 27, 2015 at 12:30
  • Note that, whether or not it's technically correct, it's not an issue that one would normally get their shorts in a twist about.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 27, 2015 at 17:47

2 Answers 2


I gave this same answer in a somewhat related question:

It's definition 2.5 of have from ODO

[WITH PAST PARTICIPLE] Cause (something) to be done for one by someone else: it is advisable to have your carpet laid by a professional

So it means that they got someone else to repair it for them.


Count me another "No" vote. The "had it" definitely implies arranging/paying for someone else to do it. Of course this includes the place where you bought it, so that you should have your iMac repaired at the Apple Shop rather than repairing it!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.