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  1. #1
    haseli22 is offline Member
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    Default I had my bag stolen

    Dear teachers,

    The following sentece seems quite normal to non-natives:

    My bag was stolen.
    But in another context I happened to see the following:

    I had my bag stolen.
    As a non-native person, this sentence is quite odd to me becasue I consider "had" as a causative verb and for this reason the meaning is a bit stranger for me.

    Would anyone please explain this.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: I had my bag stolen

    Quote Originally Posted by haseli22 View Post
    Dear teachers,

    The following sentece seems quite normal to non-natives:

    My bag was stolen.
    But in another context I happened to see the following:

    I had my bag stolen.
    As a non-native person, this sentence is quite odd to me becasue I consider "had" as a causative verb and for this reason the meaning is a bit stranger for me.

    Would anyone please explain this.

    Thanks.
    It's perfectly natural even if, taken literally, it doesn't make sense. You are right that it almost makes it sound as if I did something to cause my bag to be stolen. However, we use the construction a lot (in BrE, at least), especially when referring to theft. You can almost read it as "I had (the unfortunate experience of having) my bag stolen".

    I had my bag stolen.
    He had his watch nicked.
    She had her purse snatched.

    The one thing this construction does is to make the victim of the crime more emphasised in the sentence. It's not just that the bag was stolen, it's more "I was personally subjected to a crime - and this is what the crime was".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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