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Please look at the following

  1. I will do the homework. This means I will myself do the homework

  2. I will get the homework done. I know this means that I will cause the homework done. So this could be interpreted in two ways:

2a) I will have someone do the homework. Here I am causing the homework done by someone.

2b) I will myself do the homework. Here also I am causing the homework done, but it is being done by me. So in effect I am causing the homework done by me.

My question is interpretation #2b the right interpretation? Can we interpret it this way?

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  • I usually assume that people mean the same thing by 1 or 2. When people make someone else do the work, I usually say 'I will get the homework done for me'. In your example, I think 2b is more correct than 2a.
    – Cas
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 9:37

2 Answers 2

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#2 is almost a "legal loophole". Both versions often are meant to be the same thing, but #2 leaves the possibility that they can "squeeze through the loophole" and get it done by someone else, and not be lying to who they are talking to.

#2 is also more definite. It's the sort of thing a politician would say while pounding the desk - but in that case then they almost certainly will get someone else to do it!

In short it depends on who is saying the words. If it's a politician or an equally careful individual, I'd say they meant #2a. Otherwise almost certainly #2b. Of course, if it turns out that they do #2a, then that puts them in the category of "politician"!

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"I will get it done" means that I will see the task to completion.

If, in context, it is my obligation to perform the task myself (e.g. homework), the listener would not infer that I'm going to have someone else do the task for me.

If, in context, you are in an organization and you have power to delegate tasks to others within the organization, the listener would infer that you will delegate the task to someone who can be trusted to complete it.

If, in context, you have no capability to perform the task yourself, the listener will infer that you intend to have someone complete the task.

The roof has been leaking during every rainstorm.
--I know, I know. I will get it done when we have the money.

Your hair is looking pretty wild. Don't you have an important interview coming up at a very buttoned-down law firm?
--I'm going to get it done on Thursday. I will look very corporate.

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