Done It versus Got It Done

got_done

When you move up to the pre-intermediate stage in your learning there are some tricky bits of grammar that are very useful to learn. One of the main pre-intermediate obstacles is the confusion between ‘you have done it’ and ‘you have got it done/you have had it done’.

Here’s how they work.

Done It

We normally use this to express things we have done ourselves.

“My homework? I’ve done it. I did it yesterday but I have forgotten to bring it today.”

Got It Done/Had It Done

‘Got it done’ is more British and ‘had it done’ is more American. These are used to say that you made a request to somebody else to do something for you.

“I got my hair done at Vidal Sassoon and had my nails done at Selfridges.”

Complications

  • Got it done by oneself

  • Sometimes got it done is used to describe a hard task that you did.

    “I got all of my housework done yesterday while the kids were at school.”

    It is structured like the ‘got it done’ that indicates third-party involvement but the speaker in the above sentence did it all by his or herself.

  • Who did it?

  • A lot of my students confuse things when talking about hair cuts.

    “Marc, you cut your hair!”

    “No. It only looks like I cut it myself. I got it cut a cheap barber.”

    However, the next exchange is definitely correct.

    “Marc, you shaved your beard!”

    “Yes, that’s right. I got tired of it.”

    In the last sentence, I did not ask someone to get tired of my beard, that ‘got’ is the one that means the same as ‘became’.