This is from a native speaker who teaches English. here is the source: Youtube (minute:second 1:22-1:25)

"The first thing I like to do after I get up is I like to make the bed. It is always nice when you have your bed made."

The structure "...have your bed made..." seems to have a causative structure (have something done), but the meaning is not a causative. He is the one who makes the bed. He is not asking or hiring anyone to make his bed.

So, why is he using a causative structure whereas he is not asking someone to do it? or Does the structure (have+something+done) not always have a causative meaning, but rather have the meaning of the verb "keep", for instance "It is always nice when you keep your bed made."**

  • Who is 'he'? Is he a native speaker? Sep 7, 2022 at 17:42
  • Ah, sorry, yes he is a native speaker, Bob the Canadian, who teaches English online.
    – Yunus
    Sep 7, 2022 at 17:54

2 Answers 2


Yes, out of context I would understand 'have your bed made' as meaning 'have someone make your bed for you', so I find his usage somewhat unusual. (Also, don't most people leave the bed to air for a while after they get out of it?)

I don't know why he says it like that, but I suppose he means "It's always nice to have your bedroom in a tidy condition with the bed made."


It is ambiguous, and could have either sense. But in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, people would take the have ... made as causitive.

(It has been argued that this kind ambiguity is precisely how the perfect arose in English and other languages: I have [the letter written] (I possess the letter, which has been written) reanalysed as I have [the letter] written -> I have written the letter.)

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