I wanted to tell my friend that he should do something nice today (it's his birthday):

You should do something nice, you do not want to have your birthday ending this way.

I know it is wrong but is there a way how to say it still with the "want to have" in the sentence? Or is the "have" here entirely incorrect?

  • What makes you think it's wrong? I can't see anything wrong with it. – Colin Fine Jul 16 '12 at 15:10

I am not too sure about use of commas etc. but is this not a comma splice? I think there is a construction have + inf (w/o "to"). For example, I believe the following is grammatically correct: "I do not like John. I would have him clean the toilets." I think that if you were to change "ending" to "end" it would sound better. That said, "have + participle" is a pretty common construction nowadays as well.

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  • No, "have your birthday end" would imply that you are causing it to end badly. "Have your birthday ending" is simply saying you are experiencing it. – Colin Fine Jul 16 '12 at 15:11
  • @ColinFine I see what you mean. In the example which I gave, it does imply this. However, I do not think that it necessarily carries this implication in all instances. It's a tricky one to decide, as the two are used pretty much interchangeably. – JamesHH Jul 16 '12 at 23:28

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