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"I'm having my <noun> <past-participled>"

 

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  #1  
Old October 11, 2017, 07:39 PM
jemenake jemenake is offline
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"I'm having my <noun> <past-participled>"

I tried to convey this very common English phraseology to my Spanish instructor, but I don't think I got him to understand what I was getting at.

In English, we say things like:
I'm having my teeth cleaned, Tuesday.
I had my car washed, yesterday.
I'm going to have him defrost the freezer
In each case, "have" doesn't connote possession of something as much as it connotes that someone else (usually unspecified) is going to perform some task on something you own, usually at your request.

Is there a similar construction in Spanish, other than, say "Se me van a limpiar los dientes" ("They are going to clean my teeth"), which doesn't quite convey, as well, that it is at your mandate.
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  #2  
Old October 11, 2017, 11:16 PM
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Naturally you can say the same things in Spanish, but they are usually said in a more direct manner. For example a Spanish speaker would normally not say , I'm having my teeth cleaned Tuesday(voy a tener limpiado mis dientes martes ) Instead you would say something like voy (al dentista) para limpiar los dientes.

Technically you can use tener plus the past participle, but is sounds a bit odd or rarified. Native speakers my be able to clarify this, but perhaps you can use tener + past participle for special projects like el conservador del museo tuvo
su Rembrandt restaurado por expertos de Italia.
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Old October 12, 2017, 06:30 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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Since Spanish doesn't use passive voice as often as English does, we don't express these ideas the same way. One alternative is to use the active voice with an impersonal "they":

- Me van a hacer (la) limpieza de los dientes el martes.
(I'm not using "me van a limpiar los dientes", because, for me, this doesn't convey the idea of having a professional to do this.)
- Me lavaron el coche ayer.

"I'm going to have him defrost the freezer" is different, because here there is a specific person who will do this job:
- (Él) me va a deshielar el congelador.

All of these sentences say that someone will do something for me;
Notice that we don't say "se me". "Se", when used as an impersonal, is always conjugated with third person singular, but here we have a "they", which is a plural.
Using an impersonal sentence with "se", one could say something like "se me va a lavar el coche", but although this is grammatically correct, the meaning is unclear, because there is some ambiguity with the statement that "the car is going to wash itself". Odd. Anyway, nobody talks like that.

However, as Poli rightly said, there are other active voice alternatives. Keep in mind that thinking in a foreign language is thinking about another culture, so a translation sometimes is rather an adaptation to how the other speaks:

- El martes voy al dentista a que me haga (la) limpieza.
- Llevé ayer el coche a lavar.
- Mañana va a venir el jardinero a cortar el pasto.
- Voy a llevar este traje a planchar. = Voy a llevar este traje a que lo planchen.



@Poli: Your restored Rembrandt example may be better expressed with "hacer" + infinitive: "el conservador del museo hizo restaurar el Rembrandt por expertos italianos". Or "el conservador del museo mandó restaurar el Rembrandt con expertos italianos".
In both cases, there is someone who orders a job to be done.
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Old October 13, 2017, 12:35 PM
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Thanks. That certainly sounds better. I need to save this entire thread. It's very helpful.
One additional question: is a que identical to para que in meaning?
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Last edited by poli; October 13, 2017 at 12:41 PM.
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Old October 14, 2017, 01:45 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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Yes, Poli, I guess so. "Para que" underlines the purpose why I'm having that service done, although that makes a longer sentence, and it's less frequently used.
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