get + something + P.P. ; have + something + P.P.

Do 'get sth. + P.P.' and 'have sth. + P.P.' mean the same?

For instance, do 'she got her nose pierced' and 'she had her nose pierced' mean the same? do 'he got his car fixed' and 'he had his car fixed' mean the same?

Do we know who did the piercing when we say she got her nose pierced or she had her nose pierced?


Shouldn't it be much clearer if we say 'she pierced her nose' to mean she did the job by herself or 'she got her nose pierced by someone' to mean someone did the job for her?

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For instance, do 'she got her nose pierced' and 'she had her nose pierced' mean the same? do 'he got his car fixed' and 'he had his car fixed' mean the same?

I would say that the meaning is exactly the same, but the version with "got" sounds more conversational; "had" a bit more formal. Both mean that she arranged for someone else to pierce her nose/fix her car. (Maybe you get a discount if you have both done at the same time?)
Please do not double-post, Meantolearn-- it wastes valuable time.
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Hi khoff & Mr.M,

I remember CJ's comments on 'get sth p.p.' one time. He mentioned that when you say, "I got my car fixed." It doesn't 100% to say the car was fixed by someone else. "I got my car fixed" can mean "I fixed my car myself". Correct?

By the same token, "I got my ears pierced" can mean "I pierced my ears myself". Correct? Eventhough, it's very unusual.

Thanks for the replies.
That is a different meaning for 'get'. There are two:

I got my car fixed = I employed/asked/etc someone to fix my car.
I got my car fixed = I finished fixing my car.

(By the way, MTL, if you remember Jim's remarks so well, why have you asked this question again?)

We had a similar discussion Get+object+past participle(click here). Dr Bailey, a linguist, insists some difference in the meaning between "get" and "have". But as far as I studied in google, people seem to use the two collocations differently only to accord to the register (formal or colloquial speech).
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Hi all,

I think this topic needs a little bit more attention.

get/have sth. p.p.

The pattern above doesn't strongly suggest who did what.

For instance,

"I had/got my washer fixed last week" can mean either 1. I fixed the washer myself or 2. someone else fixed the washer for me.

"I had/got my job done/finished" can mean either 1. I did/finished the job myself or 2. someone else did/finished the job for me.

"I had/got my hair cut" can mean either 1. I cut my hair myself (some people never go to a beauty/barber shop) or 2. someone else cut my hair for me.

"I had/got my room cleaned up" can mean either 1. I cleaned the room myself or 2. someone else cleaned the room for me.


But there are some exceptions I assume. we can tell who did what in the following example.

e.g. "I had/got my wallet stolen' -----> Someone stole my wallet.

You might think of other examples. Please share with us.

(By the way, Mr.M., this is an open forum. People ask questions if they want to , rather than, if they need to)
Absolutely, MTL-- and people answer questions if they want to, also. Enthusiasm for helping an enquirer who does not seem to get the point after considerable effort wanes.
S have/get O done

This construction has three usages from semantic viewpoints: [1] causative, [2] suffering and [3] completion.

Causative Sense

  • The accent comes on "have"/"get"

  • GET constructs sound stronger than HAVE constructs.

  • HAVE constructs are preferred in formal/polite speech.

  • GET constructs are preferred for imperative use.

  • HAVE constructs are preferred in past tense sentences.

  • (EX-1) [to oneself] I have to get my hair cut at the barber.

  • (EX-2) [to one's own son] Get your fingernails cut! (=Clip your fingernails!)

  • (EX-3) [at a laundry] I'd like to have these things dry cleaned.

  • (EX-4) [at a store] I'd like to buy this. Could you have it delivered?

  • Suffering Sense

    • The accent comes on "done".

    • GET is more common when S has any responsibility of the suffering.

    • (EX-5) He got his leg broken while he played rugby. "He broke his leg" is more common.

    • (EX-6) We had our roof blown off in the gale.

    • (EX-7) She had a book stolen from the library. "Someone stole a book from the library" is more common in this case. Furthermore, one might take the sentence to mean "She carried a book that had been stolen from the library" or "She made someone steal a book from the library" if the accent comes on "had" instead of "stolen".

    • Completion Sense

      • The accent comes on "done".

      • (EX-8) She worked hard to have/get the work done. "To finish the work" is more common.

      • Usage of Intransitive Verbs (GET only)

        • (EX-9) Let's get him started.

        • (EX-10) She seems relieved to get him gone.
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