Passive causative

This question is taken from a book called " the best " which in turn quoted it from our student book page 52.


They .......... the mobile phone mast turned on.

a) got

b) were

c) would

d) had


I know that "got" or "had" can be used in the passive causative form. This makes (a) and (d) correct, so I need your help. Could you tell me if one of them is more suitable?


Thanks in advance.

Original Post


I agree with you that both (a) and (d) are correct, and that (b) and (c) are not.  I will suggest that there is a slight difference in meaning.  To me, "they had [something done]" strongly implies that someone else was instrumental in accomplishing the job (perhaps a hired contractor), whereas "they got [something done]" has a broader scope.  It can mean that they had someone else do it or that they did it themselves, among other possibilities.

The problem that remains is, what is the "model answer" that is expected by your test makers or the publishers of your student book?

I'll try to get an answer to this.  Thank you for citing your source.


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