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Do the following sentences have the same meaning?

Later Peter's daughter Elizabeth had the Grand Palace, park and fountains expanded.

and

Later Peter's daughter Elizabeth had expanded the Grand Palace, park and fountains.

If they are not the same, why does "expanded" in the first sentence be in the end?

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There is a subtle difference between the two.

"Later Peter's daughter Elizabeth had the Grand Palace, park and fountains expanded."

Here there is the implication that Elizabeth got someone else to expand the palace, park, and fountains for her. To "have someone do X" or "have X done" means that you ask or command another person to do X for you, rather than doing it yourself. In the past tense, you say "had someone do X" or "had X done".

"Later Peter's daughter Elizabeth had expanded the Grand Palace, park and fountains."

"Had expanded", on the other hand, is simply the past perfect tense of the verb "expand". So this second sentence implies that Elizabeth expanded the palace, park and fountains herself - that is, that she personally performed the work to expand them.

Given that Elizabeth was royalty, the idea of her doing actually doing any sort of serious work (especially manual labor) is extremely unlikely. It's much more likely that other people did it for her, and she just took credit for it. So I would say that the first sentence is probably the better choice in this context.

  • Sometimes the person who oversaw a project or caused it to be done is said to have "done" it, e.g. IK Brunel is often said to have "built" the Great Western Railway, the SS Great Britain, etc. I do not say this to contradict the valid grammatical point you have raised. "The work for which Brunel is probably best remembered is his construction of ... the Great Western Railway. " bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/… - "When Isambard Kingdom Brunel built the SS Great Britain in 1843" history-for-kids.com/ss-great-britain.html – Michael Harvey Apr 28 '18 at 23:42
  • Yes, it is indeed common to say that those funding a project "do the work". The reasons for this are mostly cultural/historical, and related to egotistical rich/powerful people wanting to claim credit for the creations of those who work beneath them. But while common, it is inaccurate, because the reality is that they almost always "have the work done for them". In this case, Elizabeth did not expand her palace. Elizabeth had workers expand the palace for her. While conflating the two is common, I think it's better to communicate clearly what actually happened. – J. Taylor Apr 28 '18 at 23:59
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    It's a significant distinction and I've upvoted you for pointing it out. However I think it depends on what had means in the sentence -- whether it's the past perfect or the sense of request or command. If the second, then it the two sentences are pretty much the same, and the difference is simply one of style: eg: For her sister's birthday, she engaged the services of a famous artist and had painted the portrait that now hangs in her sister's dining room. – Andrew Apr 29 '18 at 0:25
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As J. Taylor's answer points out, the two sentences would normally be interpreted differently. In the first sentence, "had" implies a request or command, while the second implies the past perfect.

However it is grammatical to use the request/command version of "to have" next to the verb it modifies. For example:

For her sister's birthday, she engaged the services of a famous artist and had painted the portrait that now hangs in her sister's dining room.

This is somewhat stylized and not as common as the alternate form:

... she had the portrait painted

but sometimes writers choose this to structure their sentences in a particular order.

In your example sentences, if the writer intends "had" to be the request/command, then both sentences do mean the same thing, but the first is easier to understand.

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