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navi tasan

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1-I had my arm broken.
2-I had my hair cut.

In 1 I break my arm accidentaly without wanting to do so but in 2 I ask someone to cut my hair.

3-I had someone break my arm.

Could 3 ever be used if I have not asked someone to break my arm (probably to get money from insurance or something)?
 

GaryEM

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I had my arm broken. My arm was broken. The meaning is the same. Both passive voice. The speaker does not accuse another person.
Someone broke my arm. This is good grammar and accuses Someone.
My arm was broken by Someone. It accuses Someone. The voice is passive. Active voice is better. Use : Someone broke my arm : instead.
I had someone break my arm. This does not always imply fraud to get money from insurance. It can, and often does imply fraud. Another meaning is this example.
My arm broke and healed poorly. The bone was bent. I had someone break my arm. I had someone set the bone at the proper angle. It healed well.
 

riverkid

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I had my arm broken. My arm was broken. The meaning is the same. Both passive voice. The speaker does not accuse another person.
Someone broke my arm. This is good grammar and accuses Someone.


Hello Gary. I beg to differ. Active voice is not always better. In this case the 'someone' is not at all important. The subject 'I' is important and the breaking of the arm is important. There may well not have been any someone at all.
 

navi tasan

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Thanks a lot Gary and Riverkid,
I understand that
I had someone break my arm.
doesn't necessaril imply fraud but doesn't it necessarily imply that I asked the other person to break my arm?

I had my arm broken.
doesn't have that implication
and neither does
I had my arm broken by someone.

In these cases, it is quite possible that my arm was broken against my will.
 

riverkid

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Thanks a lot Gary and Riverkid,
I understand that
I had someone break my arm.
doesn't necessarily imply fraud but doesn't it necessarily imply that I asked the other person to break my arm?


I had my arm broken.
doesn't have that implication
and neither does
I had my arm broken by someone.

In these cases, it is quite possible that my arm was broken against my will.

No, it doesn't necessarily entail that one arranged for someone to break their arm, Navi, though worded that way would lead to that suspicion.
 

GaryEM

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Riverkid you are correct. Thank you for supplying the student with more information. I write fiction for a living. My mind is always in fiction mode. The editor always tells me to avoid passive voice, because it is "weak" . but passive voice is important for English speakers. The student does not need to follow the editor's rule.
 

riverkid

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Riverkid you are correct. Thank you for supplying the student with more information. I write fiction for a living. My mind is always in fiction mode. The editor always tells me to avoid passive voice, because it is "weak" . but passive voice is important for English speakers. The student does not need to follow the editor's rule.

Editors are big on that, Gary. Of course, sometimes the passive is weak, but it seems to have been turned into a blanket condemnation.

I've dreamed of doing that, writing for a living but ... . Lucky guy!
 
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