Has vs. Have: Which One Do You Use?

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Are you an English learner who often gets confused between has and have? This post will try to help you with your confusion by making you familiar with the meanings of each word precisely. So let’s get started. 

Difference Between “Has” and “Have”

Both has and have are different conjugations of the verb “to have.” Verb conjugation means the change of the verb from its infinitive form to match the subject. Some verbs have a standard pattern, while others follow a unique pattern. Verbs with the standard pattern are called regular verbs, while unique pattern verbs are irregular verbs.

Regular verbs

  • Ask, Asked, Asked
  • Guess, Guessed, Guessed 

Irregular Verbs

  • Bite, bit, bitten
  • Has, have, had

Though both words come from the same word, they have differences in the way they’re used.

The word has is used with 3rd person singular while have with the 1st or 2nd person singular and plural and the 3rd person plural. 

Sounds a bit confusing? Let’s understand each word with some examples.

What Does “Has” Mean?

The word has indicates the ownership or possession of something. It’s the present tense of the word have. It is used with 3rd person singular such as he, she, and it. Let’s see some examples of “has” in sentences.

 To Possess, Hold or Own Something

  • He has a house in London.
  • She has a pen to write.

To Talk About Things We Eat

  • Emma often has bread for lunch.

To Indicate a Relation

  •  He has two sisters.
  • Jack has one big brother.

To Show Some Obligation

  • She has to pay the bill by tomorrow or else another penalty will be charged.
  • The plan has to work properly.

What Does “Have” Mean?

Like has the word have is used to indicate owning or possessing something. However, it is the base form of the verb that is generally used with the 1st person and 2nd person, singular pronouns, and 3rd person plural pronouns. Let’s see where to use have in sentences.  

With 3rd form of other verbs/Past Participle forms

  • We have taken part in the cultural show.
  • I have eaten the food twice.

To Hold, Posses or Own Something

  •  You have a lovely painting at your home.
  • I have some problems with that guy.

To Ask for Food

  • What would you like to have at dinner?
  • We will have snacks in an hour.

When Experiencing Something

  • You might have experienced some difficulty to reach the top.
  • I have experienced the pain you went through.

To Show Obligation or a Requirement

  • You have to give your performance, else you will be disqualified.
  • We have to find him before he moves to another country.

To Indicate Desire, Thought, and Feelings

  • I have a strong feeling that my brother is in trouble.
  • I have a strong desire to visit him.

How to Remember the Difference

There is only a slight difference between has and have since both words are used in present perfect sentences. One easy way to remember the difference is that whenever you write a sentence with I, We, You, They, and other plural nouns, you need to use have. On the other hand, if you’re writing a sentence with he, she, it, or any other singular noun, use has.


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