Many causative verbs have their objectives as the form of infinitive or participle, but not to-infinitive. You don't say like

I got my car to be fixed.

What I wonder is that why it is so? Can't you use it as something with a future vibe? Like when you distinguish between "remember V-ing" and "remember to V"?

Can't it be seen as below? (I know it's wrong but)

I got my car fixed (The car was fixed)

I got my car to be fixed (The car was going to be fixed)

  • I can't actually think of a reason why I got my car to be fixed is ungrammatical (in your specific usage—not in the interpretation given in an answer). If I put on hold the part of my brain that speaks English naturally, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the syntax arising from the use of the verbs. In fact, it actually makes sense—so long as I can silence my inner voice that is screaming at me about how wrong it is. However, it's simply not idiomatic. Why it's not used isn't something I can address. – Jason Bassford May 8 at 15:26

The way I often like to view the "Verb To Verb" structure is as 2 actions.

So I remembered to do it. (remember then do) I stopped to smoke. (stop then smoke) I wanted to go. (want then go).

So "I got it to be fixed" is fine, it means you got it (bought it, or chose it etc) in order to fix it. (second action, here passive but the logic is still fine!)


As EnglishAdam says, that construction plus the passive infinitive implies purpose, not future.

"I got the car to be fixed" implies that the purpose of getting the car was in order to be fixed and doesn't imply anything about time except that the car has already been "got".

You can sometimes use "to" with the causative "get," but the way to change the tense is by altering "get" not by changing the infinitive:

I got the mechanic to fix my car. (past)

I will get the mechanic to fix my car. (future)

This link is a pretty good resource on several different causative verbs.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.