HAVE is one of the most important English verbs. It is used as a main verb and as an auxiliary verb. This lesson will focus on HAVE when used as the main verb in a sentence or question.

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Like all verbs, except BE and modal verbs, HAVE has two conjugations in the simple present.

  singular   plural
1st person I have we have
2nd person you have you have
3rd person he, she, it has they have

Note that in the third person singular conjugation, –ve is replaced by –s.

HAVE followed by a noun means to possess or own.

Tom has a new car.
The girls have a good idea.
I have a fear of flying.

When HAVE is followed by an infinitive, it indicates that something is required.

I have to study.
We have to leave.
He has to take a shower.

Like all verbs, except BE, HAVE has only one simple past conjugation for all persons: had.

  singular   plural
1st person I had we had
2nd person you had you had
3rd person he, she, it had they had

Here are example sentences.

I had a horrible dream last night.
Susan had twins.
The story had no intrigue.

HAVE can be used to make a request or give a command.

Please sir, have a seat.
Alex, have* patience.
Hey guys, have a look at this.

*Normally when the subject is the third person singular, it would take the conjugation has. But, because this is an imperative, the verb HAVE remains in the base form.

HAVE is used to wish another person good fortune. Again, this is the imperative.

Have a happy New Year.
Have a good trip.
Have a nice day.

The verb HAVE is sometimes used to form questions, but this is very rare. American English speakers prefer to use the auxiliary verb DO to form questions. For example:

less commom   more common
Have you a pen? Do you have a pen?
Has he a car? Does he have a car?
Have they time? Do they have time?

Similarly, HAVE can be used to form negative statements, but this is also very rare. American English speakers prefer to use the auxiliary verb DO to form negative statements. Here are examples.

less commom   more common
I haven’t any money. I don’t have any money.
He hasn’t a clue. He doesn’t have a clue.
They haven’t time. They don’t have time.

As an auxiliary verb, HAVE is used with past participles to create perfect verb forms.

present perfect   We have already eaten.
Have they tried to help you?
She has gone there three times.
past perfect   Tom had gone home by the time I returned.
We had already eaten.
They had never seen an elephant.

Related lessons:

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1 Response

  1. Hera Kashmeri 29 January 2014 / 16:31

    Love the chart, and love the way you have managed to explain all of the grammar points, associated with the verb have, both as a verb, and an auxiliary with all its known tenses. I’m currently conducting small conversation groups with blended levels, and must say I find your website, very interesting in developing my own lessons. Thank you.

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