I am a bit confused.

Here are my examples:

I get my home cleaned every other week.

I'm having my office painted.

They had their toilet fixed.

Am I correct to think that my past participle verbs are adjectives in the past participle form? Or is this an example of the passive voice?

  • 3
    They are all verbs in passive clauses. Notice that a by phrase can be added in each case.
    – BillJ
    Commented Mar 27 at 8:51
  • 1
    Incidentally, note that it is just the subordinate clauses that are passive, not the main clauses.
    – BillJ
    Commented Mar 27 at 11:20
  • 1
    All of them can be followed by an agent. That's the test. They had their toilet fixed [by a plumber]; I get my house cleaned every other week [by professional cleaners]; I'm having my office painted [by my brother-in-law]. They all imply a passive, yes.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 27 at 13:39
  • 1
    Repetition of the point I made in my comment.
    – BillJ
    Commented Mar 27 at 15:55

3 Answers 3


In a simple active voice sentence, the subject does something; in a passive voice sentence, something is done by the object.

Your examples are all slightly more complex. In all of them, the subject is 'getting' or 'having' something done by someone else. Overall, the sentences are in the active voice, but the object of that statement is a clause in the passive voice.

For example, in the sentence "I'm getting my home cleaned", 'getting' is the main verb, and 'cleaned' is a participle used to form the passive voice construction.


I get my home [cleaned every other week].

I'm having my office [painted].

They had their toilet [fixed].

The past participles are all verbs.

Note that the main clauses here are not passive. It’s just the subordinate clauses (bracketed) that are passive.

These passive are sometimes called 'bare passives', since they lack the "be" and "get" markers.


I add to what @BillJ said.

The examples the OP listed are passive voice constructions as described here with similar examples:

Other structures that have passive characteristics are the get-passive and get/have something done:

The windows got broken. (Someone broke the windows.)

He’s getting his hair [dyed]. (Someone is [dyeing] his hair.)

We had our wooden floors painted. (Someone painted our wooden floors.)

The get passive form is get + -ed, and the have something done is have + object + -ed.

  • Fyi, men get their hair dyed, we probably would not say coloured.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 27 at 13:40
  • Agreed. I quoted that from Cambridge Dictionary. Commented Mar 27 at 13:46
  • Ah, maybe it's British? Because for women we sometimes say coloured but for men it struck me as quite odd. :) I think I would edit my answer and also include imaginary agents to show the passive. Cheers.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 27 at 13:48
  • Thanks, @Lambie. In this construction, dyed is indeed more common than coloured, and this in fact applies to both genders. I updated my answer (my) last night on this. On the by phrase matter, which indeed is a good point, BillJ had already mentioned that in his comments made much earlier, and I acknowledged his contribution in my answer. Commented Mar 28 at 0:26

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