HAVE (Primary Verb)



  • I’ve got a dog.
  • Has she got a dog?
  • We haven’t got a dog.
  • I had one of these when I was a kid.
  • Dave has a shower every morning.
  • Danielle doesn’t have lunch at school.
  • How much coffee do you have every day?
  • I’ve been to England many times.
  • Have you ever been to Scotland?

Conjugating HAVE

HAVE Conjugation


Expressing Possession: HAVE got

  • “HAVE got”  expresses possession, in the grammatical sense (if you “have got” a brother, in grammar he’s your “possession”).
  • “HAVE got” is more common in British English than  in American English: Americans often lose the “got” and use HAVE as a ‘normal’ verb.
  • The “got” in “HAVE got”is the past participle of GET. It can never be alone, or get the -s of Third Person Singular.
  • “HAVE got to is an emphatic way to express necessity, as in “I’ve got to study harder.”  More below.
  • Without “got”, you cannot contract HAVE.
HAVE got Conjugation


Exercises for HAVE got: follow this link.

BE/CAN/DO/HAVE: exercises.


HAVE a shower

Non-Possessive HAVE

  • HAVE doesn’t always express possession: it can also mean “consume” and a number of other things. Non-possessive HAVE can often be translated into Spanish as tomar, or with a reflexive verb:
    • HAVE lunch / a drink / coffee
    • HAVE a shower / a bath / …
  • You can also “HAVE an accident / an argument (with somebody)” etc.

Non-possessive HAVE works like any other, “normal” verb:

  • It requires DO for questions and negations in Simple tenses:
    • “Do you usually have a shower in the morning or in the evening?”
  • You can’t use contractions with non-possessive HAVE:
    • “I have breakfast,” NOT “I’ve breakfast.”


HAVE as an Auxiliary Verb


→ HAVE is the Auxiliary for the Perfect time forms (Present Perfect, Past Perfect …). Details are in the dedicated articles.


  • I have/’ve had a shower.
  • She had/’d just left the building.
  • Has he done this before?
  • Had they ever seen anything like it?
  • You haven’t finished yet!
  • We hadn’t thought of that.


Auxiliary HAVE in Complex Compound Time Forms with Modal Verbs, and combined with the Passive Voice

  • In Perfect-Continuous time forms, HAVE is the “Operator” (The “A” in ‘Las preguntas se hacen ASI’): It’s the Auxiliary, and goes first:
    • Have you been crying? Your eyes are red.”
    • “I hadn’t been paying attention, so the teacher’s question caught me by surprise.”
  • With modal verbs, the same order is maintained, but the Operator is the modal. After a modal, HAVE is always in the infinitive, so linguists speak of “Perfective Infinitives” and the much less common “Perfective-Continuous Infinitive”. As always with the names of time forms, the name itself can help you remember the structure.
    • “She might have done it, but I’m not sure.”
    • “They must have been sleeping.”
  • In Passive sentences, HAVE goes before BE:
    • He has/’s been made redundant.
    • It should have been abolished long ago.


Exercises for Present Perfect are here.

Exercises for Present Perfect Continuous are here.

Exercises for Past Perfect are here.

There’s more on http://joscha.x10host.com/Resources/

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