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To me, the following sentences seem to mean the same thing, but my gut feeling tells me there may be some fine nuances in their usage, and native English speakers can easily appreciate them. An ESL learner, I can't do it.

Could anybody help me?

They are expected to have it done by 3 pm tomorrow.

They are expected to get it done by 3 pm tomorrow.

They are expected to be done with it by 3 pm tomorrow.

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  • Note: The third sentence has been edited - "get done with", as obviously bad grammar, was replaced with "be done with".
    – Victor B.
    Sep 26, 2021 at 14:34

1 Answer 1

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  1. To have something done by some time. = to finish it

They are expected to have it done by [by some agent] 3 pm tomorrow.

Bear in mind: "have it done" can be passive. It can imply you are having someone do it:

  • I expected to have the house painted [by the painter] by Sunday.
  • I expected to have the house painted by Sunday. [by me, to have the painting finished]. The context rules here.

The word agent is the word used to express who is doing something in a passive sentence.

  1. They are expected to get it done by 3 pm tomorrow.

Basically, what was said for 1) applies here. "get something done" or "have something done" mean the same thing. To finish.

  1. They are expected to get done with it by 3 pm tomorrow.

This one is not quite idiomatic. I would say:
They are expected to be done with it by 3 pm tomorrow.

the idiom here is: to be done with something, which means to be finished with something, but not to "finish something".

If something is a burden on you, if you say "I'm done with it". that means no longer want to have anything to do with it.

Often, used with people: After what he did to me, I'm done with him.

I'm done with house painting. Next time, I'll hire professionals to do the job for me.

To get done with something might be said but it is not quite idiomatic.

[I left the explanation for get done with it. Too much trouble to go back and edit.]

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