have something happen / have something happened

Gary_Kasparov

Senior Member
Spanish - Spain
Hi everyone!

I don't quite understand this type of structure, what does it mean? :

If you have something happen, ...

and why not "if you have something happened"?

Thanks!!
 
  • Gary_Kasparov

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    For example:

    If you have something happen, like a car breaking down, you'll need a savings in order to help you in these unfortunate circumstances.

    Why not "happened" ?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Ah! Thanks for the context.

    This is not a past tense construction. I'm not sure I know the name of it. It's similar to:

    If you have someone call you in the middle of the night, it gives you a scare.
    If you have a rash appear anywhere on your body after using this product, discontinue use and see a doctor.

    It's another way of saying:

    If something happens to you
    If someone calls you
    If a rash appears on you

    It emphasizes that it's happening to you from something/someone beyond yourself. It reminds me of an explanation of the difference between Spanish and English when missing a flight. We say: "I missed my plane" and in Spanish it's said, "The plane left me." This construction emphasizes that the thing happens to you not as a result of your actions.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Whoa, hold on a minute, Gary. I don't think we'd say "I have my car crashed".

    We would say "I have my car repaired [at the garage]" and "I have my hair cut [at the hairdresser's]".

    Is that the construction you were thinking of?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    It is confusing. Loob's examples are excellent for another use of "have". We use it a third way as well:

    Have her call me.
    Have him mow the lawn before he leaves for his friend's house.
    Have her show you the new marketing plan.

    In this case it means "make sure that".

    Make sure that she calls me.
    Make sure that he mows the lawn...
    Make sure that she shows you...
     

    Gary_Kasparov

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Whoa, hold on a minute, Gary. I don't think we'd say "I have my car crashed".

    We would say "I have my car repaired [at the garage]" and "I have my hair cut [at the hairdresser's]".

    Is that the construction you were thinking of?
    Ahhhh, yes, you are right!!
     

    Gary_Kasparov

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Hi again, continuing with this thread...I have to rephrase this sentence using "HAD": (By the way, - by using - is also correct?)

    Their flat has been broken into twice this year.

    My guess:

    They have had their flat broken (why not "break"?) into twice this year.

    I'm confused :-(

    Thank you!!
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    The general form is:

    Subject + form of "to have" showing tense, voice, aspect, etc. + direct object of "to have" + verbal.

    The verbal is either a bare infinitive (infinitive without "to"), a present participle (-ing form), or a past participle.

    Each sentence of this form is roughly equivalent to an underlying sentence in which the subject appears, but not as the subject, and the direct object of "to have" appears as the subject of a verb that takes the indicated tense, voice, aspect, etc., and depends on the verbal.

    When the verbal is a bare infinitive, it becomes the main verb in the underlying sentence:

    You have (pres. tense) something happen (to you). = Something happens to you.
    You had something happen (to you). = Something happened to you.
    You will have something happen (to you). = Something will happen to you.
    You have had (pres. pref.) something happen (to you). = Something has happened (pres. perf.) to you.
    He has someone give him something. = Someone gives him something.
    They have (pres. tense) someone break in(to their flat). = Someone breaks into their flat.
    They have had (pres. perf.) someone break in(to their flat). = Someone has broken (pres. perf.) into their flat.
    They keep having (pres. repetitive) someone break in(to their flat). = Someone keeps breaking (pres. repetitive) into their flat.
    They have had (pres. perf.) their flat break into twice this year. = Their flat has broken (pres. perf.) into twice this year. :cross:

    When the verbal is a present participle, the verb "to be" is implied, forming a progressive tense:

    You
    have (pres. tense) something happening (to you). = Something is happening to you.
    You have (pres. tense) someone giving you something. = Someone is giving you something.
    You had (past tense) some people breaking in(to your flat). = Some people were breaking into your flat.

    When the verbal is a past participle, passive voice is implied, keeping the past participle and using "to be" (or sometimes "to get") as the conjugated verb:

    You have (pres. tense) something given (to) you. = Something is given (to) you.
    You are having (pres. prog. tense) something given to you. = Something is being given to you.
    You have (pres. tense) your flat broken into. = Your flat gets broken into.
    If you have (pres. tense) something happened ... = If something is happened to you .... :cross:

    I hope this helps.
     

    kenny4528

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Taiwan
    I just ran into this stand-alone multiple question:

    I always have my bedroom ____ tidy and clean.
    A. look B. looking C. looked D. looks
    Answer is A. By reading Forero's detailed explanation I think the option B also works (meaning changes of course). Am I correct on this?
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I just ran into this stand-alone multiple question:



    Answer is A. By reading Forero's detailed explanation I think the option B also works (meaning changes of course). Am I correct on this?
    I will dispute strongly that the answer is "A", Kenny. It can only be "B".

    I always have my bedroom ____ tidy and clean.
    A. look B. looking C. looked D. looks

    The bedroom itself looks tidy and clean. I have my bedroom looking tidy and clean.
     

    kenny4528

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Taiwan
    I will dispute strongly that the answer is "A", Kenny. It can only be "B".

    I always have my bedroom ____ tidy and clean.
    A. look B. looking C. looked D. looks

    The bedroom itself looks tidy and clean. I have my bedroom looking tidy and clean.
    Thank you for your kind reply, Dimcl. This question I quoted is taken from other forum where a few contributors (non-native) said the answer can only be A. Actually in the first place I thought A. and B. both work. I need to think through this foundation.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    I just ran into this stand-alone multiple question:
    I always have my bedroom ____ tidy and clean.
    A. look B. looking C. looked D. looks
    Answer is A. By reading Forero's detailed explanation I think the option B also works (meaning changes of course). Am I correct on this?
    Hi, Kenny.

    A and B are both grammatical, but B is the one that makes the most sense.

    I said "roughly equivalent" because the same construction can have multiple meanings.

    Gary_Kasparov's examples involve some agent acting (indirectly) on the Subject, allowing "have" to take on a passive meaning (the Subject experiences something), but in your example, look is probably not an action verb, and the only agent (actor) is the Subject (I), so "have" almost has to take on a more active meaning (the Subject makes something happen to someone or something).

    With that interpretation, your example works well with B (looking) to describe the state in which I keep my bedroom, and with A, the infinitive, the apparent meaning is that
    I somehow convince my bedroom to put on its best "face".

    Breaking, giving, and happening are actions in progress, but looking tidy and clean is likely not an action but a state of being, so in this case the -ing form does not imply change.

    C is wrong because look is intransitive, and D is wrong because looks is not a verbal.
     

    kenny4528

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Taiwan
    Thank you very much for your kind reply, Forero. The text-maker and I need to better our inderstanding of this have issue.:)
     

    Prower

    Banned
    Russian
    The verbal is either a bare infinitive (infinitive without "to")
    1) Well, I hope "bare perfect infinitive" is not an option here. Am I right?

    I have something have happened. - WRONG (???)

    2) What is the difference between these two?

    You have (pres. tense) somethinghappen (to you). = Somethinghappens to you.

    If you have (pres. tense) something happened ... = If something is happened to you ....
    My guess
    1) It happens all the time.
    2) It is happened once.

    But I am not sure.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    1) Yes, you're right

    2) While you were copying from Forero's post, you seem to have lost some some spaces and a big red :cross: which indicates the second sentence is wrong so I'm not sure what your question is.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    You have (pres. tense) something happen (to you). = Something happens to you.
    You had something happen (to you). = Something happened to you.
    You will have something happen (to you). = Something will happen to you.
    You have had (pres. pref.) something happen (to you). = Something has happened (pres. perf.) to you.
    I didn't know it could work with "something", as well as with "somebody", too. Could you tell me if the following examples are correct:

    I have flowers bloom in my garden every year.
    I've had my car bump into a tree two times.
    I had my borscht go off because I forgot to put it into the fridge.
    I had some apples spill out of my basket.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited:

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The last three sentence are fine. They report what something did that affected you badly.

    I am not certain of the intended meaning of the first sentence:
    I have flowers bloom in my garden every year.
    Please tell us what you have in mind using other words.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    The last three sentence are fine. They report what something did that affected you badly.

    I am not certain of the intended meaning of the first sentence:
    I have flowers bloom in my garden every year.
    Please tell us what you have in mind using other words.
    Thank you !

    I think maybe I picked the wrong verb. Maybe "blossom" would work better than "bloom"?:)
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    No, it's not the verb that makes this seem odd to me.

    Why don't you say "Flowers bloom in my garden every year"? What is the meaning you want to add by saying "I have flowers bloom..."?

    It's not clear to me what meaning you are giving to 'have'.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    No, it's not the verb that makes this seem odd to me.

    Why don't you say "Flowers bloom in my garden every year"? What is the meaning you want to add by saying "I have flowers bloom..."?

    It's not clear to me what meaning you are giving to 'have'.
    Maybe that doesn't work because it doesn't carry the implication that "something happens"...

    What about this:

    "I'm having my lily bloom in the middle of winter!" (I want to say that the lily in my vase has suddenly started blooming)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Interesting question, Vic.

    I would happily say "I've had lilies bloom in the middle of winter". But I think it would require a fairly specific context to say "I'm having lilies bloom in the middle of winter". I can only imagine this as a response to something like "What strange things are you experiencing at the moment?"
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    1 I've had my wallet stolen twice. Something bad happened to me. (It could also - against logic - mean that I deliberately asked someone to steal my wallet.)

    2 I've had my roses win first prize in the Flower Show twice running.
    Something good happened to me. (It could also - against logic - mean that I got my roses to win first prize, perhaps by asking them nicely.)

    3 I've just had my hair done.
    I've been the recipient of some service that I myself requested.

    4 I've had the mechanic check my brakes
    . I got someone to do some service for me.


    I have flowers bloom in my garden every year. -
    It seems you intend meaning #2, but perhaps it's meaning #3 or #4.

    1 I have these horrible weeds come up in my lawn every year. - It happens against my will.
    3 I have flowering bushes planted in my garden (by the gardener). I get him to plant them.
    4 I have the gardener plant flowering bushes. I get him to plant them.

    To achieve meaning #2, where something good happens, not exactly by chance, but maybe somewhat unexpectedly, is quite difficult with your sentence.

    We just leave the garden untended most of the time, but some years we have flowers bloom quite unexpectedly and they're such a delight.

    cross-posted with Loob. I like her example.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thak you for the replies:)

    1 I've had my wallet stolen twice. Something bad happened to me. (It could also - against logic - mean that I deliberately asked someone to steal my wallet.)

    2 I've had my roses win first prize in the Flower Show twice running.
    Something good happened to me. (It could also - against logic - mean that I got my roses to win first prize, perhaps by asking them nicely.)

    3 I've just had my hair done.
    I've been the recipient of some service that I myself requested.

    4 I've had the mechanic check my brakes
    . I got someone to do some service for me.


    I have flowers bloom in my garden every year. -
    It seems you intend meaning #2, but perhaps it's meaning #3 or #4.
    Yes, I think I do, but perhaps it doesn't work with the present simple to state a simple fact of what happens regularly — as a routine, not unexpectedly:confused:
    1 I have these horrible weeds come up in my lawn every year. - It happens against my will.
    What if this sentece would mean that I don't intend to grow any flowers and don't want them, and yet they bloom every year:

    "I have flowers bloom in my garden every year."

    Would that be ok?

    Interesting question, Vic.

    I would happily say "I've had lilies bloom in the middle of winter". But I think it would require a fairly specific context to say "I'm having lilies bloom in the middle of winter". I can only imagine this as a response to something like "What strange things are you experiencing at the moment?"
    I was just afraid that if I used "I've had", it'd indicate an experience (has happened several times up to now) rather than what's happening now (this winter). In your example — "I've had lilies bloom in the middle of winter" — is it the former or the latter?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    "I've had lilies bloom in the middle of winter" > I have experienced this in the past.

    If you want to say you're experiencing it right now, then I think the most natural option would be to use a different construction: I've got lilies in bloom (or: blooming) in the middle of winter!
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Is "have" experiential in these structures that you've said, please?
    There are too many structures to answer comprehensively. Could you choose one or a few?

    Often more than one meaning is possible for the same grammatical structure. English depends on context.

    Example
    (a) Experiental
    Jane: You look awful John. Has something happened?
    John: I had someone break into my flat yesterday.
    Jane: Oh John, I'm so sorry to hear that.

    (b) agency
    Jane: John, your flat is in a terrible mess. Why are you laughing?
    John: I had someone break into my flat yesterday. I want to claim for it on the insurance.
    Jane: What?! You deliberately had someone break in? But John, isn't that illegal?
    John: Yes but I don't care. I need the money.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    There are too many structures to answer comprehensively. Could you choose one or a few?

    Often more than one meaning is possible for the same grammatical structure. English depends on context.

    Example
    (a) Experiental
    Jane: You look awful John. Has something happened?
    John: I had someone break into my flat yesterday.
    Jane: Oh John, I'm so sorry to hear that.

    (b) agency
    Jane: John, your flat is in a terrible mess. Why are you laughing?
    John: I had someone break into my flat yesterday. I want to claim for it on the insurance.
    Jane: What?! You deliberately had someone break in? But John, isn't that illegal?
    John: Yes but I don't care. I need the money.
    I just wanted to know a structure can be interpret in different ways, like what you explained.
    Thanks a lot Chasint for the good explanation :)
     
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