Have someone DO something VS. Have someone DOING something

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Timberfall

New Member
Mandarin
Examples:
You should have someone CHECK that out for you.
You should have someone CHECKING that out for you.

Some people say the second structure is wrong and you should always stick to the first one.

But in an episode of the TV series Friends, Rachel's sister Jill said the following sentence which really confuses me because she said "doubting" rather than "doubt":

"I cannot believe you did this too me! You had me DOUBTING how smart I was! You had me DOUBTING my fashion sense!"

Here is the entire scene (edited):

Jill: You’ll never believe what just happened, Ross just totally blew me off and he didn't even tell me why!

Rachel: Oh, I'm sorry it didn't work out, honey.

Jill: It’s probably because I'm not mature enough. Or smart enough. Maybe he doesn't like the way I dress—No that can’t be it. It’s really gotta be the smart thing. Oh I’m so stupid! I’m just like this incredibly pretty stupid girl!

Rachel: No honey, okay, okay, you wanna know why Ross canceled the date? Because I asked him to.

Jill: You asked him too?! Why?!

Rachel: Because you are my sister and Ross and I have this huge history…

Jill: I don’t understand, do you want to go out with Ross?

Rachel: No.

Jill: You don’t want him, but you don’t want me to have him?

Rachel: (changing the subject) You know Bob in Human Resources…

Jill: Ugh! I cannot believe you did this too me! You had me doubting how smart I was! (Gasps) You had me doubting my fashion sense!
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Both structures are idiomatic, Timberfall, but they are appropriate to slightly different circumstances.

    To have someone do something means to cause someone to do something, often a single action.

    To have someone doing something means to act in such a way as to cause someone to be occupied in doing something, usually a continuous activity.

    Those may sound similar, but the first (to have someone do something) is particularly appropriate for someone giving orders, though the second can have this sense too - he had me looking through the files, when the analyst came.

    The second (to have someone doing something) is particularly appropriate where the activity being provoked is an unintended consequence of the actions of the provoker - You had me doubting my fashion sense (your actions caused me to wonder if I had a good fashion sense).
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    The owner of a tutoring centre is talking to a parent:

    "If your child doesn't like the current tutor, I'll have another tutor work with him in the next session."

    Does "I'll have another tutor working with him in the next session" sound the same as the above sentence ?
     

    Rhye

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I would say that your second sentence, sunyaer, is understandable and grammatically correct, but it sounds a little bit odd. The first sentence seems to make it more clear that you'd assign another tutor to the child promptly for the following session. "I'll have another tutor working with him in the next session" sounds a little bit more haphazard, or cryptic. It sounds like the end result will be the same in both sentences, but I don't think I would use the gerund in your situation.

    That said, the differences between the two are slight, and you wouldn't get any funny looks from saying the second sentence anyway.
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I found "have someone doing" in post #11 in this thread

    have somebody doing something OR have somebody do something

    1. Let's have X fix the drains - a one-off action, something that's not going to take very long.

    2. Let's have X teaching the child - a more continuous action; the continuous form suggests that this is going to be a long process.

    Is there a context where sentence 2 is more appropriate than sentence 1?
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    You should have someone CHECK that out for you.
    You should have someone CHECKING that out for you.

    Some people say the second structure is wrong and you should always stick to the first one.
    No, it's not "wrong", but it doesn't have quite the right meaning, and you SHOULD stick to the first one. The reason: The first sentence says clearly that a particular action needs to be taken, and that's the meaning that was intended. The second sentence says something a little different, that there ought to be someone currently performing such an action; that doesn't really make a lot of sense.
     
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