Has vs. Have: Understanding the Difference and How to Use Them

15 July 2023 / Team Fun English Course

The presence of has and have is quite common to express possession in English. However, it is crucial to understand the grammatical rules to use each term appropriately. 

While both are variations of the verb “to have,” they have distinctive grammatical contexts. Beginners might be a bit unsure about when to use them, however. 

This post is here to help you unravel the mystery of has vs. have. Please find out more about them by exploring this article.

The Difference between Has and Have

Difference between Has and Have

Has and have are variations of the verb “to have”. However, their usage differs depending on the grammatical context. Has, for instance, is used with singular subjects and the pronouns, such as “he”, “she”, and “it”. 

On the other hand, have is used with plural subjects and the pronouns “I”, “you”, “we”, and “they”. It is important to note that “to have” is an irregular verb, which means it doesn’t follow the usual rules for verb endings. Furthermore, beginners find the correct conjugation of this verb challenging.

Remember that “has” and “have” is about the point of view. The point of view indicates who is speaking and who is being referred to. “Has”, for instance, should be used with the third person singular pronouns – as previously explained. 

“Have”, on the other hand, should be used with the following pronouns: I (first-person singular), you (second-person singular), we (first-person plural), you (second-person plural), and they (third-person plural). However, “have” is used in negative statements and questions regardless of the subject.

When to Use Has and Have

Examples of Has and Have in Sentences

Now you know the meaning of these two words. When is the right time to use each word? Pay attention to these examples of has and have in sentences.

1. To Indicate Possession

The most straightforward use of “has” and “have” is with the present indefinite tense, which indicates possession. Check out the example.

  • Diana has a beautiful smile.
  • They have a nice yard.

2. To Express a Completed Action

When expressing a completed action, this forms what is known as the perfect present tense, which involves a more intricate time relationship and pairs a verb with “has”, “have”, or “had”. 

You must also combine it with other verbs to indicate that the action occurred before the present moment. For example:

  • Diana has been telling me this story.
  • They have been waiting for a response from the professor for days.
  • He has been playing the oboe for five years.

3. To Express Obligation

You can also use “has” or “have” to express obligation. It would help if you put “to” to discuss the obligation to do that. For example:

  • Diana has to call back her mother.
  • I have to make some changes to this paragraph.
  • You have to check out that one horror movie that came out yesterday at the theater.

Regarding how to use has and have, it is essential to note that the rule for choosing between “has” and ‘have’ depends on the pronoun. If you are referring to one person or thing, excluding “I” or ‘you’ as pronouns, use “has”. 

On the other hand, ‘have’ is used with plural subjects and specific pronouns like “I”, “you”, “we”, and “they”.

Has vs. Have – Which One Should You Use?

How to Use Has and Have

Mastering the usage of has and have can be challenging, but don’t worry! Here are some tips to remember which one to use:

  • Make sure that the subject matches the verb.
  • Only pairs “has” with a third-person singular subject or pronoun.
  • Join Fun English Course.

This English course will enhance your English skills in a super fun way. Besides, you will find classes that suit your needs – including master has vs. have. So, start your English learning journey with us today!

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