Writing Great Emails–Causative Have

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) To rephrase: To say something in a different way

I don’t understand your English. Could you rephrase that sentence?

(2) To cause: To make something happen

When the CEO suddenly retired, it caused stock prices to fall dramatically.

(3) To take responsibility: To accept that you’re in charge of something

I can’t take responsibility for the sales in Japan and China. I need to focus on one market.

Today’s

Questions

1. What is the grammatical form of causative have?

a. Subject + have + object + past participle of the verb

b. Indirect subject + have + past participle of the verb

c. Subject + have + object

2. Which sentence has a mistake?

a. I’m having you all fired!

b. I’ll have you all fired!

c. I had you all fire!

3. What’s one good use of causative have?

a. For making the subject clear

b. For when the actor doesn’t matter

c. For when someone caused someone else to act

7________________________

Writing Great Emails

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En-velop_bleu By Jeremy Schaar

I had my car stolen.

I had my hair cut.

He’s having his shoes shined.

She had the tumor removed.

What do all these sentences have in common? It’s some high level grammar that you may not use in your emails, but which is very useful. Today, you’ll learn about something called “causative have” and how you can use it to make your emails stronger.

Let’s start by rephrasing the sentences from above to make sure you understand them.

I had my car stolen = Someone stole my car.

I had my hair cut = Someone cut my hair.

He’s having his shoes shined. = Someone is shining his shoes.

She had the tumor removed. = A doctor removed the tumor.

In English, you should usually use the main actor of a sentence as the subject. For example, “Mike read the book.” is better than “The book was read by Mike.”

Mike does the action (reading) so he comes at the beginning of the sentence and is followed by a clear verb.

But sometimes the actor doesn’t matter. In those cases, we often use the passive voice and also often delete the actor.

For example, we might say, “The report was written on Tuesday.” We don’t care who wrote it. The report is what’s important.

So what’s causative have and why is it useful? Imagine a situation where it’s important for someone to be the subject of the sentence, but they don’t do the important action. Instead, they cause the action in some way. In that case, we want to hide the actor, but we don’t want to put the object at the start.

For instance, if Mike’s car is stolen, it’s important that the sentence start with Mike. He’s the most important. We also care about the car. However, we don’t know who stole it, so we say:

Mike had his car stolen!

Crimes are a common use for causative have. Another is with services.

I had my nails done.

We don’t care who the nail technician was. You and your nails are the important things. But note that you cause the action. You went to the nail salon and paid for the service. You caused your nails to be done.

Now let’s look at some business examples:

Situation: Mike is writing. He told someone to change the time for the deadline. What’s important is that he acted and that the deadline has changed. He can say:

I had the deadline pushed back to give us some more time.

Situation: Karen is writing. She told Bill to write a report, but she wants to take responsibility.

I had the report written up. Bill will give it to us later.

Want more practice? Got questions? Comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

A, C, C

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

22 Lesson Ideas

22 Private/Small Group Lesson Ideas…all you need is a laptop and a dream. And you don’t really need the laptop.

  1. Look at pictures of places and discuss.
  2. Read “The Road Not Taken” and discuss.
  3. Read “The Lottery” and discuss.
  4. Discuss trips you’ve taken. Start by thinking of all the adjectives you can.
  5. Think of a business situation and role play it (interviews, etc.).
  6. Summarize a movie.
  7. Summarize a book
  8. Summarize a trip.
  9. Summarize a past project.
  10. Summarize a future project.
  11. Visit the Centers for Disease Control website and discuss.
  12. Read an article from The Economist and discuss.
  13. TED.com videos (watch, discuss, comment).
  14. Learn speaking techniques at rachelsenglish.com.
  15. BusinessEnglishPod has 20 minute listenings you can expand into lessons.
  16. Pretend you’re making a hotel reservation online.
  17. Go shopping online and buy presents for the people you love.
  18. Or, buy stuff for yourselves online.
  19. Go to craigslist.com and try and sell something online.
  20. Order a pizza for a charity. Practice, then make a real phone call.
  21. Comment on YouTube videos. Like this one.
  22. Comment on Blogs. Like these.

vocabulary.cl/grammar.cl

Website Review: grammar.cl/vocabulary.cl

In short: As of today, they have 52 different grammar points and 52 different vocabulary topics. They explain everything very clearly. Almost all of the topics have some game that you can play to help you practice what you’ve learned.

That might sound simple and boring, but the site is actually incredible. The site design makes it special. You’ll never have any trouble finding something on this site. The games will work quickly and they’ll be helpful. After two minutes, you’ll feel like you understand everything they do. Sound easy? It’s really hard to design a site like that.

For students: Just as an example, do you have problems using the word “get”? All the uses can give you a headache, but this section will help.

For teachers: The spelling games are particularly innovative. Students will see the words flashed at them and then they’ll need to spell them correctly. Your students who have spelling problems might enjoy these unique games. (Click here and scroll down to “Spelling Games”)

Learn English–British Council

Website Review: Learn English—British Council

http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/

In Short: The best site on the internet for learning English. It’s multilevel. It’s really big. It’s really helpful.

First: Low-level, intermediate-level, and high-level students will all find great stuff.

Second: The site is really big. You can watch and listen. You can read and write. You can practice grammar. You can play games. You can make friends.

Third: The activities are helpful, interesting, and modern. The site is easy to use and looks great.

For Students: Here are three things you might really like on the site. For listening, Big City, Small World is great. Studying for the IELTS? Check out this section. Or, you might join the virtual community Second Life so you can speak and listen to real people in English all the time.

For Teachers: Send your students to the site and have them write their own reviews. Ask them to answer three questions: (1) What can you listen to on this site? Describe it. (2) Is this a good site? Why/Why not? (3) Would you recommend it to a friend? Why/Why not?

How to listen to this song: Jealous Guy

How to listen to this song: Jealous Guy by John Lennon

Use this song to practice Past Continuous

You can also listen here, here, or here.

First Listen to the song

Second Answer this question: What is a “jealous guy”? What are three things a jealous guy might do?

Third Listen to the song again. This time, read the lyrics to the song too. (The lyrics are below. Scroll down to see them.)

Fourth Think about the past continuous verb tense. The form is was/were plus the –ing form of the verb. For example: I was watching TV. They were sitting alone.

We use the past continuous to talk about actions that happen over a period of time in the past. We can also use the past simple, but it changes the meaning a little bit. Compare:

I ate rice on Saturday.

I was eating rice on Saturday.

I ate rice makes it seem like the action happened at one time. I was eating rice makes it seem like it happened for some time. Both are true. Saturday is one time and Saturday is a period of time. “I ate rice on Saturday” makes it sound like at one point in time on Saturday (for example 2pm), you ate rice. “I was eating rice on Saturday” makes it sound like you ate rice several times on Saturday (for example 10am, 2pm, and 6pm).

We need to use the past continuous for interrupted actions. For instance, I was eating rice when you called. You stopped the action when you called, so I should use past continuous.

For more information, please click here.

Fifth Look at the lyrics in the song.

I was dreaming of the past
And my heart was beating fast
I began to lose control
I began to lose control

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry (oh my)
I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

I was feeling insecure
You might not love me any more
I was shivering inside
I was shivering inside

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry (oh my)
I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry (oh my)
I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

I was trying to catch your eyes
Thought that you was trying to hide
I was swallowing my pain
I was swallowing my pain

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry (oh my)
I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy (watch out)

I’m just a jealous guy (look out babe)

I’m just a jealous guy

Sixth Answer these questions:

Why does he say that his heart was beating fast? When does your heart beat fast?

What reason does he give for hurting her? (Why did he hurt her?)

Why was he feeling insecure?

What does “I was swallowing my pain” mean?

Answers

What is a “jealous guy”? What are three things a jealous guy might do?

A jealous guy is a guy who is too protective of his girlfriend/wife. For example, a jealous guy feels bad when the girl he likes does something without him (especially if she is with other men).

A jealous guy might (1) tell his girlfriend not to meet other men, (2) get angry if his girlfriend doesn’t tell him where she is, (3) tell his girlfriend not to do things without him.

Why does he say that his heart was beating fast? When does your heart beat fast?

His heart was beating fast because his emotions were crazy. Our hearts beat fast when we exercise, when we are very nervous, etc.

What reason does he give for hurting her? (Why did he hurt her?)

He’s a jealous guy.

Why was he feeling insecure?

He thought that she might not love him anymore.

What does “I was swallowing my pain” mean?

It means he was trying to hide his pain. He didn’t want to show her that he was feeling bad.

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