I cannot understand the difference in the meaning of the following sentences:

  1. My grandmother proposed that we have our picture taken with Santa.
  2. My grandmother proposed that we take our picture with Santa.
  3. My grandmother proposed that we took our picture with Santa.

It seems all the sentences are grammatically correct, but I am not sure about their meaning. Can anyone explain the differences to me? Thanks

1 Answer 1


Numbers 1 and 2 are grammatically correct. Number 3 is not.

Number 1 means

My grandmother proposed that one or more of us arrange for someone else take a picture of all of us with Santa

It is the causative usage of “have.”


The second sentence is somewhat ambiguous but most probably means

My grandmother proposed that one of us take a picture of the rest of us with Santa

In a real case, the ambiguity would probably be resolved by context or inquiry.

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