I understand the usage of have somebody do something

However, a post says

anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Washington has some websites in a tizzy.

There is no "do" there, is this another pattern or just omitting some verb?

  • 1
    The sense is 'has caused them to be in a tizzy'. Commented May 7, 2020 at 12:43
  • Same syntax as The stand-up comedian had his audience in stitches. Compare and contrast 1: The vicar had the congregation stand up to sing a hymn and 2: The comedian had half the audience walk out when he told a very rude joke. Just because the subject had the object do something doesn't mean that's what the subject wanted the object to do. Commented May 7, 2020 at 12:54
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica Thank you. A has B do something means A wants B do that; A has C in ... doesn't necessarily mean A wants C become that, right?
    – Piete3r
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 22:07
  • No, the potential difference in meaning doesn't depend on whether the "complement" is verb-based (A had B do / doing something), or preposition-based (A had B in tears). It's primarily just a matter of context, but I think the choice of verb form can make a difference. It's normally The happy-clappy vicar had the congregation dancing in the aisles, implying they spontaneously got up and danced. Whereas using the unmarked infinitive form (...had them dance...), more strongly implies the vicar explicitly urged / forced them to get up and boogiie. Commented May 8, 2020 at 11:36

1 Answer 1


Here's an excerpt from the Wiktionary definition of "have" (and the definitions are surprisingly close to each other, which makes this good here):

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The usage you're thinking of (have somebody do something) applies to definition (14).

Have him call me later. AKA: Command him to / Request that he call me later.

The usage the post is using applies to definition (15).

The speech had people upset. AKA: The speech caused people to be upset.

Hopefully this is helpful to you.

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