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While searching haircut in dictionary, I found the following sentence here

I wish he'd get/have a haircut.

However haircut is noun (We are not getting haircut like something, e.g.,car). So when using causative verb, shouldn't hair and cut be separated like

I wish he'd get/have hair cut.

And if above both are correct,then which of the following sentences are correct?

Have your hair cut.

Have your haircut.

Thank you.

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5 Answers 5

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A haircut is a single session of having someone cut your hair, or a particular style of cutting it. Of course you don't 'get a haircut' like acquiring a possession, but you 'get' the services of the hairdresser. So we say

I've just had my hair cut. (My hairdresser cut my hair for me.)

I've just been for a haircut (not my haircut - I went to the salon for a haircutting session).

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  • So fourth one in my post is wrong. And other three are right, right?
    – ramanujan
    Mar 9, 2022 at 9:13
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    @ramanujan both possibilities for your third sentence are not correct or not natural. You would say "I wish he would get a haircut" (noun) or "I wish he'd have his hair cut" (verb).
    – JavaLatte
    Mar 9, 2022 at 9:44
  • @JavaLatte third or second?
    – ramanujan
    Mar 9, 2022 at 11:31
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    Is "I've just been for a haircut" a British-English thing? If I heard that I would consider it extremely strange to my American ears.
    – Kirk Woll
    Mar 9, 2022 at 23:51
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    @JavaLatte "I've just been for a [experience]" is a BrEng usage. "I've just been for an ice cream," etc. Mar 10, 2022 at 13:06
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Both are grammatically correct. To make it seem more natural though, you may want to see how people use both terms. I would say:

I’m going to get my hair cut.

Or:

I’m going to get a haircut.

But the use cases really depend on the persons you’re talking to.

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Grammatically, all 4 sentences are correct.

However, when you write:

I wish he'd get/have a hair cut.

You are saying that he should have a single hair cut, which doesn't make semantical sense. So with "a", it would always be "a haircut".

When you say "my hair cut", "my hair" can refer to all of your hair (it is being used as a mass noun or uncountable noun).

You can say:

Have your hair cut.

In that case, "hair" is a mass noun, and "cut" is a verb.

You can also say:

Have your haircut

In this case, "haircut" is an ordinary noun.

"Have your hair cut" feels more natural to me, though.

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  • Sorry that was typo. Actually, in second sentence I put article 'a' by mistake. I meant I wish he'd get/have hair cut. I edited that sentence now.
    – ramanujan
    Mar 9, 2022 at 9:16
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    "Have your haircut" has a very different meaning from "have your hair cut" and can't work in some of the same sentences, and isn't even a self-contained phrase, let alone sentence. It only (barely) works as part of a longer sentence with the sense of haircut as a synonym for hairstyle. e.g. "You're always going to look like <X> while you have your haircut". (i.e. "while you have that haircut", referring to the current style of haircut the person currently has.) Mar 9, 2022 at 18:46
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    @PeterCordes, is "eat your vegetables" also not self-contained? What about "take your bath"? I fail to see the distinction. I'll admit "have your haircut" is fairly odd, but it's the sort of thing I can see an exasperated parent screaming at an uncooperative child.
    – Matthew
    Mar 10, 2022 at 18:58
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    @Matthew: Hmm, when you put it that way, I'm less sure. I was thinking "haircut" didn't work at all in that sense, but it might be that it would be grammatically legal but simply not normal usage. Your example sentences about vegetable or a bath are self-contained in the sense I meant. I upvoted DKNguyen's answer which agrees with your interpretation of what "have your haircut" could mean. Mar 10, 2022 at 20:43
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I wish he'd get/have a haircut.

This sentence is not a causative construction in the strict sense of that expression since there would have to be an additional verb after "get/have." It is exactly comparable to "I wish he'd get/have a massage/the operation/a heart transplant."

I wish he'd get/have hair cut. (??)

This sentence does use an English causative structure and is fully grammatical; however, it is extremely odd and almost certainly does not convey the meaning intended. The rules of English usage normally require a personal pronoun to be used with body parts associated with a known body, unless you are referring to a mass noun and there is a contrast between all of the mass in the body and part of it (E.g., "I am having blood drawn" versus "I am having my blood tested")

In the case of a haircut, the presumption is that all the hairs on the top of the head will be cut, and so you must say: "I wish he'd get/have his hair cut. You could, however, say: "I am just having hair cut on the sides." In this case, the entire mass of hair is not affected.

Have your hair cut.

This sentence uses the causative construction, since "cut" is the second verb, and is perfectly normal. It could be used in a variety of situations.

Have your haircut.

This sentence does not use the causative construction and is grammatical; however, it is marked and appropriate only for some purposes. It is directly comparable to "have your operation/your massage/your fun/your lesson." It presumes that whether or not the event should take place is in doubt or disputed and affirms that it should proceed despite this doubt or hesitation. It would normally be said with sentence stress on "have."

Get a/your hair cut.

This sentence is normal for American English and almost equivalent to "have your hair cut," despite the difference in structure. I think the difference is that "get" also retains the meaning of "obtain," which is appropriate for this circumstance. In other words, "get" can be used semantically to refer to a result that can also be expressed using "have" (or "get," as well) in a true causative construction.

Get hair cut.(??)

"Get hair cut" would be extremely unusual without the article or a possessive pronoun and would strongly focus on some generic contrast between "hair" and something else. Even in such a case, it would be normal to use the possessive pronoun.

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    If you say "get a hair cut" people will ask which one. You'd say "get a haircut" if you mean all of them...
    – RedSonja
    Mar 10, 2022 at 7:43
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Neither is wrong but they emphasize different things.

Have your hair cut.

emphasizes the act of your hair getting cut (and by extension the state of your hair after it is cut) while

Have your haircut.

emphasizes the service performed because "haircut" is a noun: a product or service. So normally the first is used since people usually don't really care about how your hair gets cut as much as they care that your hair is cut.

The second sentence also seems to imply the hair cut service is right in front of you and is being presented to you which usually isn't the case unless you are maybe a child at the salon and resisting your mom in getting your hair cut. That's another reason people don't really use it.

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