Would you agree to the following guidelines:

In the Passive voice, the causatives "have" and "get" have the same meaning, but 'get' is less formal

In the Active voice, the causatives "have" and "get" have a different meaning: Have (ask for a service), Get (persuade)

Thank you

  • They had us build a prototype. How would you recast that in the passive? – TRomano Mar 4 '19 at 12:43
  • There is no "have" version of "Cake gets eaten at birthday parties." – remarkl Mar 4 '19 at 13:31

The four possible patterns with causative "have" and "get" are the following (I will use TRomano's example in the comment above):

  1. They had us build a prototype.
  2. They had a prototype built.
  3. They got us to build a prototype.
  4. They got a prototype built.

They are all in the active form, but (2) and (4) do not mention the builder and can thus be deemed to include a passive structure.

In (1) and (3) "have" and "get" are synonyms, meaning "persuade" or "order". Besides, according to the Longman dictionary causative "have" in pattern (1) is mainly AmE:

b) to persuade or order someone to do something

have somebody do something especially American English

I’ll have Hudson show you to your room.

  1. to persuade or force someone to do something

get somebody to do something

I’ll get Terry to check the wiring for me.

We couldn’t get him to sign the agreement.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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