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The verb "tell" can take a modifying adverb as follows:

John told Bill emphatically to stay away from Sarah. (The adverb modifies "tell.")

I'm wondering if the causative verb "have" can also take a modifying adverb of manner. How do we modify the following?

He had Sarah taken to the hospital.

I'm looking for an adverb that can be inserted between "Sarah" and the following participle, and yet refers to the main-clause action.

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  • It would seem to me a moot point as to whether "emphatically" is modifying "told" or the infinitive "to stay away". With the construction "had + object + past participle" the participle would already seem to me to be acting as an adverb. But there would certainly be nothing wrong with saying "He had Sarah quickly taken to the hospital" - that is perfectly idiomatic.
    – WS2
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 10:20
  • I don't think causative "have" can take an adverb of manner in that way (although "he definitely had..." etc are fine) It's similar to how auxiliary or modal verbs don't take adverbs of manner (although they take other adverbs e.g. "They surely must go to school"). It's hard to prove a negative though, and I can't find any references.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 11:46
  • @MichaelHarvey Thank you, but in all your examples, the adverbs modify "taken to the hospital." I'm looking for an adverb that can be inserted between "Sarah" and the following participle, and yet refers to the main-clause action.
    – Apollyon
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 13:02

1 Answer 1

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No, you cannot modify "had" from after its direct object.

You can modify "taken to hospital" from there:

He had Sarah quickly taken to the hospital.

or you can modify "had" from before "had":

He quickly had Sarah taken to the hospital.

You can't do both.

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