Uses of the verb have

October 1, 2010pdf

The verb have is used in a number of ways in English. It can be used as an auxiliary verb. It can also be used as an ordinary verb.

As an ordinary verb have indicates ideas such as possession of objects, individual characteristics, relationships etc.

Examples:

  • He has a brother in Germany.
  • She has long hair.
  • The baby has blue eyes.
  • I have two kids.

Notes

Have is used in the present tense when the subject is a plural noun or the pronouns I / you / they / we.

Has is used in the present tense when the subject is a singular noun or pronoun.

Had is used in the past tense with subjects of allĀ  numbers and persons.

Have and Have Got

Have got means the same as have in most cases. It can also be used to indicate possession of objects and similar ideas.

Examples:

  • She has got black hair.
  • I have got seven sisters.

Common expressions with have

The ordinary verb have is used in a number of common expressions.

have a bath, wash, shower, etc.
have breakfast, lunch, dinner
have fun
have a party
have a walk, hike, ride, etc.
have a discussion, fight, argument etc.

Examples:

  • We usually have dinner at 9 o’clock.
  • She is having a bath.
  • Let’s have fun.

Have as an Auxiliary Verb

As an auxiliary verb have is used in the formation of perfect tenses. Remember that the verb have will change its form depending on the number and person of the subject and the tense of the verb. Here is a quick review of the tenses that use have as an auxiliary verb.

Present Perfect:

  • They have come.
  • I have finished the work.
  • It has stopped raining.

Present Perfect Continuous:

  • We have been waiting for a long time.
  • It has been raining since yesterday.

Past Perfect:

  • The train had already left before we reached the station.

Past Perfect Continuous:

  • She had been working for two hours when he came.

Future Perfect:

  • I will have finished working by 6 o’clock.
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