I posted the question about the sentence below what 'had' means in this sentence.

One individual had a bullet as a child go right through the left temporal lobe.

Thanks to stangdon, I got it that here 'had' means 'experienced'. see the details

But I have another question... about 'go'

  1. Why is the speaker saying bare verb 'go'?
  2. If the sentence is rewritten, how it could be?

Here is the video including the sentence above.

2 Answers 2


"Have" and "make" can function as causative verbs in the pattern "have (something) + verb". Other verbs don't have this pattern, and either take a to-infinitive (eg. "get (something) to do (something)", or a gerund, eg "experienced (something) doing (something)".

The sense here is not really causative, (it is the Have something happen meaning). But it is this pattern that is appearing.

So "One individual experienced, as a child, a bullet going right through their left temporal lobe."


"Had" does basically mean "experienced" here, except that associated verb form is different. With this sense of "had," the associated verb should be in the infinitive, whereas "experienced" takes an -ing form. For instance, the corresponding sentence to your example would be

One individual, as a child, experienced a bullet going right through the left temporal lobe.

(I moved the "as a child" because it is poorly placed and sounds almost as if the bullet was a child.)

A similar sentence using "had" would be

One time I had a tree fall on my house.

which is equivalent to

One time I experienced a tree falling on my house.

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