1

In the book that I am learning, there was a sentence:

I had my watch mended.

I don't know what that means. Does it mean the following?

I commanded that my watch be fixed.

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of What role does this past-participle take? – user24743 Apr 28 '16 at 12:35
  • 1
    Possible duplicate means the linked question could be similar to yours and it could have an answer you are looking for. It doesn't necessarily mean it is the same question and other users might not agree. Don't worry too much about it. – user24743 Apr 28 '16 at 13:08
  • 2
    @EricHa: Read my comment again. Whether she has him killed, or gets him killed, the end result is always going to be that he's dead, not her. The choice of verb reflects whether he died as a direct result of her specific order that he be killed, or his death was simply in some way causally connected with her (she may simply have done something that "accidentally" resulted in his death; that would be the most common interpretation with got). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 28 '16 at 14:14
  • 2
    @EricHa: This is all covered one way or another in all the answers to the "original" I linked to earlier. In particular, "to have someone do X", it means to encourage or require or request the person to do X. That is, the other person may or may not want to do this, but you are asking or forcing them to do it. Obviously in your example the "agent" is unspecified, but you could say it's equivalent to I made a watch-repairer fix it (or I deliberately made a situation come about whereby the watch was mended, if we don't name the "agent"). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 28 '16 at 14:36
  • 2
    @EricHa: The usage we're talking about here is "fairly advanced" (for a learner, I mean; it's well-known to most native speakers), so it may simply be too difficult for you to grasp at this early stage in your learning. But I'll try once again... He mended my watch just says what he did (it says nothing about whether he or I wanted the watch mended, whether I asked him to do it, etc.). But I had him mend my watch means he mended it because I asked (or forced) him to do that. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 28 '16 at 15:50
4

"To have something done" can carry a lot of sub-text and hidden messages in some cases, when it is compared to alternative wording. However, In the particular case of this question, it seems to me that it is not so "loaded".

A likely meaning of this sentence is "I gave my watch to someone at the shop because it was broken; then I got it back and it was mended."

The passive phrasing of this sentence suggests that the speaker might not know (or care about) who actually did the mending. This is a typical event in modern times when we mostly interact with front-desk representatives and don't know the back-office workers... So the passive phrasing is more suitable than the alternative active "someone mended my watch for me".

0

I had my watch mended

means that you got your watch repaired. Here, 'had' means 'got it done' and 'mended' means 'fixed/ repaired'.

In short, it simply means:

I got my watch repaired.

or

I got my watch fixed.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.