Have +verb

Can somebody help me? I really dont know the answer. (shame on me)

please have her call me back. I can not have you doing that. these two sentences are just examples. same structure, but after have is a different form of the verb. Why?

Strange you should ask. I came across this just the other day. I spoke to two people about it and they said it is perfectly okay to use, however I have seldom heard this construction in England.

My colleague is from South Africa, and although she rarely uses it, she hears it in conversation here.

from my text book -

“You can have your sister help you.”
"“The teacher has us clean up the room.”

The second example is very interesting, because when I hear this I assume it is a continuous action, perhaps once a day or once a week they are made to clean up the room.

Is it just another example of the great US/UK grammar divide? Thoughts teachers please.


It is the equivalent of the Chinese

rang4- meaning either “to allow” or “to cause”-- depending on the context.

After a quick search on Google, I found this:
bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learn … v116.shtml

…or the Chinese

(jiao4) - to tell (somebody to do something)

[quote=“Chris”]…or the Chinese

(jiao4) - to tell (somebody to do something)[/quote]
Yep, that too. :slight_smile:

I’ve never analyzed this construct before (I do grammar for low level students), but this is my first analysis:

#1) have + V: please have her call me back = NEW command / instruction for the listener.
All command sentences to listeners are always infinitives (base V).

Have her do her homework by tomorrow. (Do your homework)
Have him kill it now. (Kill it.)

You can’t use V+ing for new commands. (have him killing it now; have her calling me tomorrow)

I have her doing homework every day. = is NOT a command.
I have her do homework. = is NOT a command.

#2) Normal sentences can take both V or V+ing depending on tense.
have + Ving: a sentence for present continuous.
have + V: a sentence for present simple.

The 2 sentences below are correct, but emphasize different things:

A. He’s doing homework every night = you want to emphasize the action of doing homework during this recent time period (he may not be doing homework every night next semester).

B. He does homework every night = You want to emphasize the scheduled, habitual nature of doing homework every night (he does homework every night, and will probably continue next semester and as long as he remains a student into the future)

So for have, the two sentences below are accurate, but used in different situations:

I have him doing homework every night (maybe just this semester).
I have him do homework every night (in general).

This is why Limey’s above example, “The teacher has us clean the room” can be both:
“The teacher has us clean the room (every day).” (emphasize scheduled habit, every day)
“The teacher has us cleaning the room every day (this summer).” (emphasize the action of cleaning, or the recent time period)

In British English slang this construction is also used to say you have had or want to have sex with another person:

“I’d have her!”

“When did you last have him?”

“I had that bird last night”

Perhaps this is why it sticks out as being strange in a text book, or is it just my puerile mind? :slight_smile:

“The teacher has us cleaning the room.” Could get him put away for a few years!

Language, and the use of it is facsinating eh?


[quote]In British English slang this construction is also used to say you have had or want to have sex with another person:

“I’d have her!” [/quote]

I’ll have to remember that!
And I’ll have to remember to tell Ss to add that V on the end. (have + smbdy + V)

As far as I know, in American English it’s not have, but do. “I’d do her!” But it sounds extremely vulgar, in my opinion.


Oh yes, I’d forgotten that one. “I’d do her.” is quite vulgar, but again common in England.