This lesson explains how to make contractions with the verb HAVE and a subject pronoun or the negative adverb not. Before you continue, review these lessons: Contractions | Verb HAVE.
The simple present of the verb HAVE (have | has) is frequently contracted with a subject. Join the conjugated verb to the subject and replace the first two letters of the verb with an apostrophe.
In American English, has is not usually contracted with a subject when it is the main verb in a sentence.
|uncontracted (common)||contracted (not common)|
|I have a blue car.||I’ve a blue car.|
|We have good news.||We’ve good news.|
Instead, Americans prefer using the present perfect with got (past participle of the verb GET).
|I have a blue car.||I’ve a blue car.||I’ve got a blue car.|
|We have good news.||We’ve good news.||We’ve got good news.|
Has can never be contracted with its subject (he, she, or it) when it is the main verb in the sentence and is in the present tense.
|He has chocolate.|
|She has a car.|
These false contractions look the same as contractions made with BE and change the meaning:
However, these contractions are possible when HAVE is the auxiliary verb in the sentence.
|He has left.||He’s left.|
|It has rained.||It’s rained.|
We know these contractions are formed with has because they are followed by past participles (left | rained).
In negative statements, the auxiliary verb HAVE is often contracted with the negative adverb not. Join not to the conjugation and replace the o with an apostrophe.
Here are examples of both forms of contraction: (subject + HAVE) and (HAVE + not).
|uncontracted||less common||more common|
|I have not finished.||I’ve not finished.||I haven’t finished.|
|You have not eaten.||You’ve not eaten.||You haven’t eaten.|
|He has not started.||He’s not started.||He hasn’t started.|
|It has not rained.||It’s not rained.||It hasn’t rained.|
|We have not seen it.||We’ve not seen it.||We haven’t seen it.|
|They have not met.||They’ve not met.||They haven’t met.|
There is no difference in meaning between these two forms of contraction, but the contractions with not are more common.