I am asked to write on "things you want to have done".

My interpretation of that question is I have to write on things I want people do for me, not things I wish I had done in the past. Correct ?

Most of the examples I found online presents sentences like this one :

"Thirdly, I should get one of my apartment’s entrance all reconstructed because it is literally falling apart."

Subject + (modal) + get/have + object + past participle + (by agent).

What I'm wondering is if I am allowed to combine have and get, as in the next sentence :

"Fourthly, in that apartment, the bath tub is also falling apart so I have to get it replaced. "

Is have to considered as a modal so the sentence is in fact a passive causative or is it incorrect to use have to the way I did ?

1 Answer 1


The word have in have to X is not modal - have when followed by to {infinitive} has a separate meaning distinct from have {object}, or have when used as an auxillary verb.

You usually don't need a modal like must, should, need - the ones that indicate obligation - because have to X itself means required to do/obligated to do X - the meaning is "built-in."

A modal with have to X can certainly be used if needed, though - one that makes sense is might:

I might have to have it replaced soon.

So, I have to get it replaced is correct. You could also save I have to have it replaced and it will mean the same.

  • 2
    Some older British English speakers treat that have as an auxiliary, so they say things like Have I to sign both forms? Most speakers treat it as a lexical verb, though, so they say Do I have to sign both forms? (A Student's Introduction to English Grammar, p.40.)
    – user230
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 23:25

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