+ object + infinitive / -ing form
special usage of the verb have means 'to cause to happen'
or 'to experience'. There is often little or no difference in meaning
between the two forms, e.g.:
had us wash the dishes after supper.
had us washing the dishes after supper.
we choose the infinitive, we are pointing to things that
happen, or (have) happened or might happen. In your own example,
never had my car break down on the motorway'
are saying that it has never happened, so you chose the bare
we choose the -ing form, we are thinking of things that are
happening, were happening or might be happening. Depending on how
we are thinking about it causes us to choose one or the other. Compare
the following. In the first three examples you can visualise things
that are happening or were happening, so the continuous form
that the epidemic is over, it's lovely to have rabbits
running around in the fields once again.
opened the bonnet of the car and saw that I had water dripping
out of the radiator.
way he told the story was so funny. He had us literally
crying with laughter.
really ought to have the chemist take a look at that wasp
sting. It looks really nasty.
had us prune back all the shrubs so that they didn't overhang
his neighbour's garden.
ready to see him now, Geraldine. Have him come in, please.