English Grammar

A curious sentence

In my Gymglish lesson today, I read this sentence: "I have Polly book me a ticket"

I understand what it means...but the construction of the sentence seems very curious. Who can explain to me?



  • Hi Patrick,

    "to have" here is not an auxiliary verb, but a verb which doesn't require another verb (but instead an object with a verb in the infinitive)- and that's why you find this construction baffling. "to have" in this sentence stands for "to delegate a task to somebody", "to make somebody else do somehting for you".

    "to have sb. do sth." in the generic form.

    Perhaps it helps you grasp the constructin by replacing "have" with "let" (which has not exactly the same meaning, but for the sake of illustration let's flout the accuracy):

    "I let Polly book me a ticket."

    If you think of "have" here being a verb like "let" with the meaning mentioned above, the construction might appear more familiar and lesss strange to you.
  • Thank you very much Head Gasket, I understand better.
    This "baffling"construction is like an idiom, no?
  • Thank you very much Head Gasket, I understand better.
    This "baffling"construction is like an idiom, no?
  • You're welcome, Patrick. I am delighted I could help.
    I don't know what you mean with idiom but I used the word "baffling" because I like that word and it's another word for "puzzling", "mysterious". When I myself came across the constructin with "to have sb. do sth" for the first time, I was quite flummoxed and it took me some time to wrap my head around what it means. You are much faster than I was.
  • Thanks again, and, by the way, I've learned a new word:"flummoxed"!!!!
  • I've learned "flummoxed" myself lately, watching an episode of "The Big Bang Theory" by the way. And I was flummoxed right away by the word "flummoxed", not knowing that the state in which I was is called flummoxed.

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