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Have something done

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Take a look at these two sentences. What is the difference in meaning between them?

'I cut my hair.'
'I have my hair cut.'

'I cut my hair' means that I do it myself.
'I have my hair cut means someone cuts my hair for me (in this case it's probably a hairdresser).

We use have something done to mean another person does a service for us.

The grammar for this is pretty simple:

Have + object + past participle

Let's take a look at a few more examples:

'We didn't want to cook so we had a pizza delivered.'
'I had my car washed at that new place by the station.'
'I had my watch fixed.'

We can also use 'get' instead of 'had' and the meaning stays the same. The sentences above now become:

'We didn't want to cook so we got a pizza delivered.'
'I got my car washed at that new place by the station.'
'I got my watch fixed.'


'I had my watch fixed' tells us about the past.
'I am going to have / get my watch fixed' tells us about the future.

 'Going to' tells us about a future plan that has already been made.

We use 'will' for  something that has just been decided:

I just noticed how dirty my suit is. I will have / get it cleaned soon.'


Imagine that you like your friend's new haircut; you could ask her:

'Where did you have / get your hair cut?'

Maybe you have just moved to a new town and you decided that it is time for a haircut ;you can ask:

'Where can I have / get my hair cut?'

You want to know if your friend's car has been fixed yet; you can ask:

'Did you have your car fixed?'

services for a busy world

As we all live in a busy world, we don't have the time (or skills)to do all the things that we need to. That's why we have a service industry that will help us get what need done.

Take a look at these examples:

A jeweller's is a place where you can have your watch fixed.
A dry cleaner's is a place where you can have your suit cleaned.
A florist's is a place where you can have flowers delivered.
A hairdresser's is a place where you can have your hair cut.
A dentist's is a place where you can have your teeth checked.
An optician's is a place where you can have your eyes checked.
A garage is a place where you can have your car repaired.

using have something done for bad things

In all the examples above we have looked at services we can pay for if we want. We can also use the same expression when someone does something bad to us. For example:

'Jenny had her car stolen.' Here Jenny did not want someone to steal her car, but someone did it.
'Have you ever had your nose broken in a fight?' Nobody wants to have their nose broken, but it could happen!

  • We're getting a new house ___.

  • You will need to get your photo ___ for your new passport.

  • A jeweller's is a place where you can have your watch ___ .

  • A florist's is a place where you can have flowers ___.

  • I had my bag ___ when I was on holiday.

  • I'm going to have my bedroom walls ___ this weekend.

  • I had my holiday pictures ___ in an hour at the photograph shop.


Hi Chris, can you explain me

Hi Chris,
can you explain me why there is a "S" in jeweller's, cleaner's and so on

Thank you

's shop

The 's shows possession. For example, the shop belongs to a jeweller: it's a jeweller's shop.

Shouldn't the sentence with

Shouldn't the sentence with the florist's go "A florist's is a place from were you can have flowers delivered."?


I already finished this lesson, why it can't be mark as my completed lesson? I already click the word "mark as Complete".

a tiny syntax error

instead of 'I am going to get watched fixed', it should have been 'I am going to get watch fixed'

another tiny syntax error

instead of "if your friends car ...", it should have been "if your fiiend's car..."

Thanks, nihatyavas

Thanks for pointing out our mistakes. Believe it or not, we do proof-read our lessons before we add them, yet some mistakes do slip through the net. We'll try and be more careful!! Thanks for the feedback! Chris

A wonderful session

It was a very wonderful session. Really informative. Have / had /get something done is a very common usage which we come across in our casual talk.

"To have something done"

Nobody wants their nose broken but it happens.

Nobody is singular and so we put the "s" at the end of want.
Is it correct to use "their" to refer to a single person?

Here 'their' refers to his

Here 'their' refers to his or her.


"We use 'will' for a something that has just been decided"---an "a" is redundant.

"Imagine that you like your friends new haircut"---should be "your friend's new haircut"

Every witch has her own crystal ball.

Thanks 'faultfinder'

Hi zishuli,

Thanks for pointing those out.


Thank you very much

Big Hug Thank you very much Chris, I really find your Learn English website very interesting and good compare with others English websites. I learnt a lot and have a good revision from what I learnt in school. Well done, keep up your good.


Very useful lesson because in oral speach I make a lot of mistakes.Thanks


Igot all the answers right thanks alot to this website
and thanks for the explanation.

They or Them

In the sentence, is it correct for me to say:

I'll have them checked this week.


I'll have they checked this week.

Thank you, Chris!

P.S. I simply loved your blog! I'm a new user but I already feel like home, so keep up the good work! Kisses from Brazil!

Have them checked

"I'll have them checked this week.", is correct.

Thanks for your kind words. Study hard!


have something done

Hello sir,

Will you please tell me if the folllowing phrase has the same pattern as you have just mentioned.

I should have this done by Monday.