carlo asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 month ago

What's the difference between "to do A" and "to get A done"?

1. I washed the dishes.

2. I got the dishes washed.

What's the difference?  I'm studying English.  Thank you in advance.

5 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    I washed the dishes  = I put my own hands into the hot water and I washed the dishes myself.

    I got the dishes washed = I arranged for the dishes to be washed. Maybe I washed them myself, maybe I got someone else to wash them. The point is that *I* took the responsibility for making sure that the dishes got washed. WHO washed them is unimportant.

    We use this structure a lot:Do you like my new hairstyle? I cut my hair yesterday  = I picked up the scissors and I cut my hair.I got my hair cut / I had my hair cut  = Somebody else cut my hair for me.

    I repaired my car  = I got my hands dirty.I got my car repaired = A garage mechanic repaired the car, or maybe my sister did it, or a friend.

  • 4 weeks ago

    1.  It implies an action done in the past. Your dishes were unclean and you yourself washed the dishes.

    2. It is the structure Subject + get/have + something + done. I got my car washed yesterday.

    You did the washing of the car by someone else.

    I got my hair cut today.

  • 1 month ago

    "I washed the dishes" is a simple statement of fact.

    "I got the dishes washed" suggests there was either some difficulty in completing the  task or that washing the dishes was one item on a list of tasks to be accomplished.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    In general the idea behind 'getting something done' infers more effort and eventual thankfulness at having finished than simply 'doing something'.

    1 is correct.  But more natural for me in Britain would be "I did the washing-up."

    2 would be "I got the washing-up done" in Britain, but possibly "I got the dishes done" or "I got the dishes washed" in the USA.

    I got the dishes washed" is not natural for me in Britain


    In the USA 'washing-up' is washing your hands before a meal.

    You chose an unfortunate example in 'dish-washing/washing up' because of the transatlantic difference.  Do please await answers from the USA, since I might not have got all the forms of 'dish-washing' correct.

    Especially in the USA (but also in Britain, to a lesser extent) the word 'done' at the end of a sentence has a strong sense of 'finished'. That is why the word 'Done' often turns up at stages in a computer program.

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  • 1 month ago

    In the case of the dishes, "I washed the dishes" ,implies that you got your hands in the soapy water and cleaned the dishes.

    "I got the dishes washed" says that the dishes are clean, and you are taking credit for it, but it does not say that you did the work.  You may have paid somebody else to clean them.  You may have done them yourself or you may have made other arrangements.

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