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I'd like to say that I have "item" done by someone else when this item is denoted by which/that clauses..

Do I have to use get only? Because if I say have then it means ("..bag which I have produced") I have produced it.. By here I want use have to denote that I have it produced. Do I need to use got for that?

Thank you

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    Your question is not clear. Are you saying that you made the bag yourself or that you had the bag made (produced) for you? – Ronald Sole May 9 '17 at 10:11
  • .... which I had made for me. – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 9 '17 at 11:09
  • Hmmmm, while I don't disagree with Tᴚoɯɐuo's explanation below, I would propose an alternative construction of, "He gave me back my bag which I had had made (for me)" or "He gave me back my bag which I had had someone make for me." – Teacher KSHuang May 9 '17 at 11:51
  • can I use present tense construction for this? he is returning my back which was got produced (for me) OR which got produced for me OR which I have someone produced for me? – Ceyhun Özsoylu Jul 10 '17 at 11:46
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The question is, Does the speaker (writer) need to use "got made" to mean "arranged for someone to make" when, as in a written text, there is a possibility that the reader could mistake "had made" for past perfect.

In spoken English, these two typographically identical sentences would have different "parsing rhythms":

The thorn bush tore the dress which she had made. [she made the dress herself]

The thorn bush tore the dress which she had made. [a seamstress made the dress for her]

When had is an auxiliary verb, as in the first sentence, there is very little pause between it and the lexical verb and between it and she. In fact, you will often seen it contracted: ".... which she'd made".

When had is a lexical verb, as in the second sentence, where it means "to cause or to arrange for someone to perform a task on your behalf", there is not only a much greater pause between she and had and between had and made, the vowel in the word had will also have a longer duration, equal in length to the vowel in made. had made would be a spondee.

Spoken by a native speaker, the two sentences would sound quite different.

In writing, if you wanted to make clear that you had the second meaning in mind, you could add "for her".

The thorn bush tore the dress which she had made for her.

although that is not perfectly clear, because we don't know if her refers to herself or to another person. (Context might clear that ambiguity up.) It would be clearer to say:

The thorn bush tore the dress which she had a seamstress make for her.

But context will normally support the less explicit version. Context will tell us whether there is a third woman involved, she, the seamstress, and the person for whom the dress was made.

  • Or perhaps, "The thorn bush tore the dress which she had had-made (for her)"? – Teacher KSHuang May 9 '17 at 11:23
  • I don't think I've ever heard the past perfect used in tandem with lexical had. I think it might be an avoided combination. – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 9 '17 at 11:25
  • thanks for great answer, so the answer above you think uses "had had" as a correct way but a way to be avoided? you think having someone make is a clearer construction for these cases then? so then should I say "he will be returning my bad today which I had a tailor make last week? – Ceyhun Özsoylu Jul 10 '17 at 11:53
  • had had is avoided, I believe (as I've never heard it said in conversation) but the contraction is grammatical and could be used: "... which she'd had made (for her)" although it is not very easy to articulate. I think a native speaker would probably take a path of less resistance. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 10 '17 at 12:03
  • when we hear "she'd had made (for her)" does it mean she had done this in the past herself or she had someone else do it in the past? doesnt this contraction in its current form mean both and thus is confusing as to what is meant? – Ceyhun Özsoylu Sep 9 '17 at 0:15
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You should use "had had made" to avoid ambiguity:

He gives me back the bag which I had had made.

When written, "which I had made" unequivocally means "I made it" IMO.

This sort of thing is tricky, and it is possible to confuse native speakers while still being grammatically correct if you run the two "had"s too close together. Normally you should try to emphasise vocally that the "had made" words are linked.

And, for fun, this is a classic joke, which is valid grammatically, and illustrates the problem with "had"s (particularly when spoken :-)) by putting 11 next to each other:

After the exam I discovered my friend had answered a question differently from me. She, where I had had "had", had had "had had", "had had" had had the examiner's approval.

  • gives and had had on same sentence is okay with regards to tense consistency? also can I use present tense construction for this? he is returning my back which was got produced (for me) OR which got produced for me OR which I have someone produced for me? – Ceyhun Özsoylu Jul 10 '17 at 11:47

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