Difference between 'get sth done' and 'have sth done'

I’m a new member in this forum. I have leant E for a short time. And I have a question in one of the thing I’m very bad.

Is there any differences between get something done and have something done?

Almost the same thing but “get something done” would be a little more aggressive.

Compare the structures with get and have (causatives):
I’ll get the waiter to bring you the menu.
I’ll have the waiter bring you the menu.

  • the meaning is ‘cause or order someone to do something’ (active pattern).
    I’ll have/get the menu brought to you.
    She’s getting/having her teeth fixed.

    The meaning is ‘arrange for somebody else to do something’ (passive pattern).

We use have + object + past participle to describe things that happen to us, often misfortunes. The subject is the person who experiences what happened:
I’ve had my car stolen.
In spoken English get is sometimes used (instead of have):
She’s got another letter published in The Times.
Sometimes only the context will identify precise meaning:
They had their fence pulled down. (either they employed somebody to pull it down; or it was pulled down without their planning it, e.g. by vandals.)

But these are only rules…

And my grammar book says that in American English have is much more common, get is common in spoken British English.


I’m having/getting my hair cut tommrow.

I feel “getting my hair cut tommrow” would show the speaker’s will a little more firmly.

“Will” maybe, but nothing to do with agression, is it?

I am sorry for the wrong word, maybe. I meant to say a sense of “up-and-coming” or “get-up-and-go” or “forwardness”. Can’t aggressive mean that? :slight_smile:

Hi Haihao

Molly was probably only attempting to prescribe which word you should or should not use.

What’s your take on the two following sentences, Haihao?

[i]- I’ll have that report written by Friday.

  • I’ll get that report written by Friday.[/i]

Hi Amy,

For me, those are almost the same thing but the second could mean ‘I’ll finish writing and completing that report by Friday’ while the first one only ‘I’ll have someone else finish writng that report by Friday’, though I am not very sure.


What’s your take on them, Amy?

I think either could be used to express having/getting another person do/to do the report:


  • I’ll have that report written by Friday if it’s the last thing I have you do!
  • I’ll get that report written by Friday if it’s the last thing I get you to do!

Hi Haihao

To me, both sentences are a bit ambiguous in that it is not absolutely clear whether the speaker or someone else will be writing the report. However, with no further context, it would seem likely that the speaker will be doing the writing.

I do sense more action in the second sentence. To me, the first sentence focuses mainly on the finished report, but the second has a stronger sense of the whole writing procedure. I thought maybe that was what you meant when you mentioned the idea of ‘aggressiveness’.

Hi Amy,

Thank you so much for your detailed paraphrase and pointing out what I intended to express. Actually I was puzzled with them as well enough for the lack of context. Now I understand the reason of it and you have made everything as clear as day.