Read about using get and have to make passives-type structures below. Then, when you are ready, try these passives practice exercises.

The get passive

Passives are usually made with be + past participle (read about simple passives here). However, in informal English, we can sometimes use get instead of be, especially for bad things (it got stolen) or changes (it got fixed).

Lots of rubbish is dropped in the street every day. (more formal)

Lots of rubbish gets dropped in the street every day. (less formal)

Note: we do not use get + past participle for state verbs:

Volunteers get are needed for our new charity.

 

Get / Have something done passive

I'm having my hair cutWe use the structure get / have something done to say that we arranged for someone to do something for us.

Someone cut my hair yesterday. (active sentence)

My hair was cut yesterday. (passive sentence)

I had my hair cut yesterday. (have something done passive)

The last sentence here sounds the most natural - if you are talking about yourself, you usually start with 'I'.

 

How to make the 'have something done' passive

To make this passive, we use have / get in the correct form + object + past participle. Get is more informal. For example:

Present continuous (for future arrangements)

I'm having my hair cut tomorrow.

I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow.

Past simple (a single past action)

had my hair cut last weekend.

I got my hair cut last weekend.

Infinitive (to + verb)

I need to have my hair cut.

I need to get my hair cut.

Note: we do not usually contract had when we use it to make a passive.

I had my car washed. ✓

I'd my car washed.


Now try these passives practice exercises to test yourself on using passives with have and get.