“I had the plumber fix the trap”.

If had is being used, why fix is not in past participle? It is a special structure to commend something? Then the followings sentences are good? What is the name of this type of sentences?

“I had my son paint the house” “I had me study for tomorrow test”

  • This sentence uses had, but it does not use the past perfect, which is why fix isn't a past participle. Sentences that use the past perfect are almost always use have/had immediately followed by a past participle, but this one has the noun phrase "the plumber" in between had and the verb, which should tell you that this is not the past perfect.
    – stangdon
    Commented Apr 7, 2023 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


[1] I had the plumber [fix the trap].

[2] I had my son [paint the house].

[3]* I had me [study for tomorrow test].

In examples like these, "have" is called a verb of causation. But example [3] is ungrammatical since one cannot normally cause oneself to do something.

They are all catenative constructions in which "have" is the catenative verb and the bracketed subordinate clauses are its catenative complements.

The intervening NPs "the plumber" and "my son" are the syntactic objects of "have" and the understood (semantic) subject of the subordinate clauses.

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