As a native speaker, which of the following sentences flows?

I would get this done by him.

I would have him do it.

I've seriously never read the first one in any literature piece. Therefore, I feel that native speakers prefer the second one, or else there should be some usages of the first one.

  • 1
    Are you looking for answers only from native speakers? If yes, why?
    – AIQ
    May 8, 2020 at 0:48
  • @ AIQ anyone with good knowledge can answer of course. Natives usually tell what their usual way of speaking is, rather than taking help from books.
    – xeesid
    May 8, 2020 at 7:06
  • 1
    I would get him to do it. - A possible alternative to the former with the meaning "persuade someone to do something", whereas your variant means 'cause something to be done by somebody else'. Besides, I would omit "by him" in your the first sentence.
    – Alex TheBN
    May 18, 2020 at 11:46
  • 1
    @AlexTheBN Your comment is, by far, the best answer for the question actually asked.
    – jwpfox
    Nov 28, 2020 at 3:35

1 Answer 1


The latter - I would have him do it. is definitely the preferred in my experience.

The former - I would get this done by him. - if it is ever used at all, would be more appropriate for cases where you are emphasizing which of multiple parties might be chosen (as in, I would get this done by him, not by that other guy). Even then, that's a stretch. The latter would probably also be better in this case as well.

  • Tend to disagree here. The causative use of HAVE seems to be a recently evolved one. People used to be surprised at the use of 'have someone do'. "have" usually followed by the third form of verb", often worked like, "have it cleared; have it typed; have it posted' etc. It confused them to decide the correctness of say, "Have him selected...." and "Have him select..." The meaning changes entirely. However, the saviour 'causative use of HAVE' did work.
    – Ram Pillai
    May 18, 2020 at 9:40
  • How, if one is to believe that "I would get this done by him, not by that other guy...", similar change can be made in the previous one too, like, 'I would have him do it, not '...her do it...." . I have seen get something done, have something done etc. more idiomatic than have something/ someone do..., though both might be acceptable in the name of evolving English.
    – Ram Pillai
    May 18, 2020 at 9:44
  • @RamPillai causative "have" dates at least as far back as 19th century. Jul 29, 2020 at 20:11

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