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  1. Offroad's Avatar
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    #1

    have someone to kill...

    Dear teachers

    Do these sentences read well?

    I had him to do the dirty work.
    He had a professional killer to put an end to his boss's life. (to have = hire)
    I was convicted for having someone to kill my bitchy wife.
    You need to have someone to shoot him in the head.
    I'll have someone to 'talk' to him.
    By the end of 2011 I'll have had him killed.


    Thanks

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: have someone to kill...

    Quote Originally Posted by Offroad View Post
    Dear teachers

    Do these sentences read well?

    I had him to do the dirty work.
    He had a professional killer to put an end to his boss's life. (to have = hire)
    I was convicted for having someone to kill my bitchy wife.
    You need to have someone to shoot him in the head.
    I'll have someone to 'talk' to him.
    By the end of 2011 I'll have had him killed.


    Thanks
    No. When we use "have someone do something" in this context, we drop the "to" from the verb and use the bare infinitive.

    I had him do the dirty work.
    He had a professional killer put an end to his boss's life.
    I was convicted for having someone kill my b*tchy wife.
    You need to have someone shoot him in the head.
    I'll have someone talk to him.

    Your final sentence is fine in the past tense.

    It is possible to use the full infinitive but for different contexts:

    - Why do you have a maid?
    - I have her to do the cooking and cleaning.

    - Why did you have a baby?
    - I had him to fill a gaping void in my life.

    - Why does he have a dog.
    - He has a dog to help him get some exercise.

  3. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: have someone to kill...

    I always get a warm and fuzzy feeling assisting an English student with the proper translation of various methods of murder-for-hire.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: have someone to kill...

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    ...

    It is possible to use the full infinitive but for different contexts:

    - Why do you have a maid?
    - I have her to do the cooking and cleaning.

    ...
    And this can be adapted to continue the murder-for-hire theme.

    'Al Capone was finally charged not with murder but with tax evasion; he had other people to do his dirty work.'

    b

  5. Offroad's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: have someone to kill...

    Interesting.... BobK, now I'd like to know why yours is right and mine isn't.

    Thanks

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: have someone to kill...

    Quote Originally Posted by Offroad View Post
    Interesting.... BobK, now I'd like to know why yours is right and mine isn't.

    Thanks
    He had other people to do his dirty work = This doesn't necessarily mean that they did any dirty work, just that they were available to do so and were happy to do it for him.

    He had other people do his dirty work = They actually did carry out illegal acts for him.

    "To have someone do something" = to force/request/demand that someone do something for you and they actually do it.

  7. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: have someone to kill...

    Quote Originally Posted by Offroad View Post
    Interesting.... BobK, now I'd like to know why yours is right and mine isn't.
    Actually, some of yours are possible, with the sense that emsr2d2 explained.

    I had him to do the dirty work (i.e. if I needed someone)
    I had him do the dirty work. (when I needed it)
    He had a professional killer to put an end to his boss's life. (to have = hire) (As the killer almost certainly killed the boss, this one is unlikely.
    He had a professional killer put an end to his boss's life. (to have = hire) (Most likely)
    I was convicted for having someone to kill my bitchy wife. (It's unlikely that you would keep someone on just for this purpose)
    I was convicted for having someone to kill my bitchy wife. (Most likely)
    You need to have someone to shoot him in the head.(Possible)
    You need to have someone shoot him in the head. (Possible)
    I'll have someone to 'talk' to him. (Unlikely, in my opinion)
    I'll have someone to 'talk' to him. (Most likely)
    By the end of 2011 I'll have had him killed.(Fine)

    As emsr2d2 suggested in her first post, "When we use "have someone do something" in this context, we drop the "to" from the verb and use the bare infinitive".

    Bob's Al Capone sentence is possible with or without 'to' - with different meanings.
    Last edited by 5jj; 17-Sep-2011 at 16:56. Reason: blunder corrected

  8. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: have someone to kill...

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Actually, some of yours are possible, with the sense that emsr2d2 explained.

    ...
    I was convicted for having someone to kill my bitchy wife. (It's unlikely that you would keep someone on just for this purpose)
    A real niche employment opportunity ....
    Poor old Offroad, being told s/he's wrong when there was a possibility!

    b

  9. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: have someone to kill...

    I guess that's what retainers are for. You're on hand to do what needs doing.

    A fee-for-services is without the "to."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #10

    Re: have someone to kill...

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I was convicted for having someone to kill my bitchy wife. (It's unlikely that you would keep someone on just for this purpose)
    I was convicted for having someone to kill my bitchy wife. (Most likely)
    Shouldn't the second be without to?

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