we’re having a burglar alarm put in

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
We’re having a burglar alarm put in.
Macmillan dictionary

Does that mean -- now, at this moment, they are putting the alarm in?
Thanks.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    No, it probably refers to the future. The present tense indicates we've booked the company to come and install it: it's a scheduled event, as opposed to 'We're going to have', which may just mean we've decided to.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    No, it probably refers to the future. The present tense indicates we've booked the company to come and install it: it's a scheduled event, as opposed to 'We're going to have', which may just mean we've decided to.
    Do you mean it's because of the verb HAVE? If it meant "now, at this moment", another verb would have to be used: "they are putting a burglar alarm in"; is that right?
     

    SReynolds

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    No, I don't think so. This sentence could refer to the present in the appropriate context, but when I read the sentence in the title, it was obvious to me that the future meaning was the implied one.

    For example:

    Hey, let's go back to your flat and drop off these bags.
    We can't, we're having a burglar alarm put in.


    There's been a lot of burglaries in this neighborhood recently.
    Yes, I know. We're having a burglar alarm put in, just to be safe.


    Both work, but to me, at least, the sentence on its own comes off as something referring to the future.
     

    SReynolds

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Sorry, but how a sentence could exist "on its own" at all?:oops:
    It can't. But if I heard it in a situation where context is not available (e.g. while walking down the street or reading a dictionary entry's example sentences), I would instantaneously think of the future meaning of this sentence.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I agree with all of the other comments. The sentence by itself doesn't say when the speaker's having it done, but of all the possible times (this minute, later today, tomorrow, next week, sometime this year, etc.), I'd assume one of the future times.

    If it were spoken in answer to the question "Who's that workman who just walked into your house?" then I'd definitely conclude that it's happening right now. ;)
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    In a dictionary, of course, just where you found it:eek:
    I think in dictionaries they are just cut out of contexts:D.
    if I heard it in a situation where context is not available (e.g. while walking down the street or reading a dictionary entry's example sentences), I would instantaneously think of the future meaning of this sentence.
    But that's not important. Whether the sentence COULD refer to the future or present in a proper context matters:)
    Well, if that's what ETB meant, too.

    Thanks to everyone of you.

    cross-posted with Parla
     
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