The Uses of the Verb "To Have" - Quynh Huong Center for Foreign Language Translation & Education

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7 Nov 2014

The Uses of the Verb "To Have"

In some senses "have got" is also used, especially in British English.
  • (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) to own, hold or possess sth: He had a new car and a boat. Have you got a job yet? I don't have that much money on me. She's got a BA in English.
  • (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) be made up of: In 1999 the party had 10 000 members.
  • (Also have got) (not used in the progressive tenses) to show a quality or feature: [vn] The ham had a smoky flavour. The house has gas-fired central heating. They have a lot of courage. [Vn-adj] He's got a front tooth missing.
  • (Also have got) [vn to Inf] (not used in the progressive tenses) to show a particular quality by your actions: Surely she didn't have the nerve to say that to him?
  • (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) used to show a particular relationship: He's got three children. Do you have a client named Peters?
  • (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) to be able to make use of sth because it is available: Have you got time to call him? We have no choice in the matter.
  • (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) to be in a position where you ought to do sth: We have a duty to care for the refugees.
  • (Also have got) (not used in the progressive tenses) to be in a position of needing to do sth: [vn] I've got a lot of homework tonight. [Vn to Inf] I must go - I have a bus to catch.
  • (Also have got) [vn + adv. / prep.] (Not used in the progressive tenses) to hold sb/sth in the way mentioned: She'd got him by the collar. He had his head in his hands.
  • (Also have got) [vn + adv. / prep.] (Not used in the progressive tenses) to place or keep sth in a particular position: Mary had her back to me. I soon had the fish in a net.
  • (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) to let a feeling or thought come into your mind: He had the strong impression that someone was watching him. We've got a few ideas for the title. (Informal) I've got it! We'll call it "Word Magic".
  • (Also have got) [vn] (not used in the progressive tenses) to suffer from an illness or a disease: I've got a headache.
  • [Vn] to experience sth: I went to a few parties and had a good time. I was having difficulty in staying awake. She'll have an accident one day.

  • [Vn] to organize or hold an event: Let's have a party.
  • [Vn] to eat, drink or smoke sth: to have breakfast / lunch / dinner: I'll have the salmon (= for example, in a restaurant). I had a cigarette while I was waiting.
  • [Vn] to perform a particular action: I had a swim to cool down. (BrE) to have a wash / shower / bath.
  • [Vn] to give birth to sb/sth: She's going to have a baby.
  • [Vn] to produce a particular effect: His paintings had a strong Influence on me as a student. The colour green has a restful effect.
  • [Vn] (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to receive sth from sb: I had a letter from my brother this morning. Can I have the bill, please?
  • [Vn] to be given sth; to have sth done to you: I'm having treatment for my back problem. How many driving lessons have you had so far?
  • (Also have got) [vn _Ing] (not used in the progressive tenses) to experience the effects of sb's actions: We have orders coming in from all over the world.
  • [Vn] (used with a past participle) have sth done to suffer the effects of what sb else does to you: She had her bag stolen.
  • [Vn] (used with a past participle) have sth done to cause sth to be done for you by sb else: You've had your haircut! We're having our car repaired.
  • To tell or arrange for sb to do sth for you: [vn Inf] He had the bouncers throw them out of the club. (Informal) I'll have you know (= I'm telling you) I'm a black belt in judo. [Vn + adv. / Prep.] She's always having the builders in to do something or other.
  • (Used in negative sentences, especially after will not, cannot, etc.) to allow sth; to accept sth without complaining: [vn] I'm sick of your rudeness - I won't have it any longer! [Vn _Ing] we can't have people arriving late all the time.
  • To cause sb/sth to be in a particular state; to make sb react in a particular way: [vn-adj] I want to have everything ready in good time. [Vn _Ing] He had his audience listening attentively.
  • (Also have got) [vn] (Informal) (not used in the progressive tenses) to put sb at a disadvantage in an argument: You've got me there. I hadn't thought of that.
  • [Vn] [usually passive] (Informal) to trick or cheat sb: I'm afraid you've been had.
  • [Vn] [no passive] to take care of sb/sth in your home, especially for a limited period: We're having the kids for the weekend.
  • [Vn + adv. / Prep.] [No passive] to entertain sb in your home: We had some friends to dinner last night.
  • (Also have got) [vn] have sb with you (not used in the progressive tenses) to be with sb: She had some friends with her.
  • [Vn] [no passive] have sb as sth to take or accept sb for a particular role: Who can we have as treasurer?

    Have done with sth: (Especially BrE) to finish sth unpleasant so that it does not continue: Let's have done with this silly argument.
    Have had it (Informal)
    • To be in a very bad condition, to be unable to be repaired: The car had had it.
    • To be extremely tired: I've had it! I'm going to bed.
    • To have lost all chance of surviving sth: When the truck smashed into me, I thought I'd had it.
    • To be going to experience sth unpleasant: Dad saw you scratch the car - you've had it now!
    • To be unable to accept a situation any longer: I've had it (up to here) with him - he's done it once too often.
    Have it (that): To claim that it is a fact that: Rumour has it that we'll have a new manager soon.
    Have (got) it / that coming (to you): To be likely to suffer the unpleasant effects of your actions and to deserve to do so: It was no surprise when she left him - everyone knew he had it coming to him.
    Have it in for sb: (Informal) to not like sb and be unpleasant to them
    Have it in you (to do sth): (Informal) to be capable of doing sth: Everyone thinks he has it in him to produce a literary classic. You were great. I didn't know you had it in you.
    Have (got) nothing on sb/sth: (Informal) to be not nearly as good as sb/sth
    Not having any: (Informal) not willing to listen to or believe sth: I tried to persuade her to wait but she wasn't having any.
    What have you: (Informal) other things, people, etc. of the same kind: There's room in the cellar to store old furniture and what have you.
    Have (got) sth against sb/sth: (Not used in the progressive tenses) to dislike sb/sth for a particular reason: What have you got against Ruth? She's always been good to you.
    Have sb back: To allow a husband, wife or partner that you are separated from to return.
    Have sth back: To receive sth that sb has borrowed or taken from you: You can have your files back after we've checked them.
    Have (got) sth in: (Not used in the progressive tenses) to have a supply of sth in your home, etc.: Have we got enough food in?
    Have sb on: (Informal) to try to make sb believe sth that is not true, usually as a joke: You didn't really, did you? You're not having me on, are you?
    Have (got) sth on (not used in the progressive tenses)
    • To be wearing sth: She had a red jacket on. He had nothing (= no clothes) on.
    • To leave a piece of equipment working: She has her TV on all day.
    • To have arranged to do sth: I can't see you this week - I've got a lot on.
    Have (got) sth on sb: [No passive] (Informal) (Not used in the progressive tenses) to know sth bad about sb, especially sth that connects them with a crime: I'm not worried - they've got nothing on me.
    Have sth out: To cause sth, especially a part of your body, to be removed: I had to have my appendix out.
    Have sth out (with sb): To try to settle a disagreement by discussing or arguing about it openly: I need to have it out with her once and for all.
    Have sb up (for sth): (BrE, Informal) [Usually passive] to cause sb to be accused of sth in court: He was had up for manslaughter.
    Auxiliary verb
    Used with the past participle to form perfect tenses: I've finished my work. He's gone home, hasn't he? "Have you seen it?" "Yes, I have / No, I haven't. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it. (Formal) Had I known that (= if I had known that) I would never have come?
    Have you got / do you have:
    Have got is the usual verb in BrE to show possession, etc. in positive statements in the present tense, in negative statements and in questions: They've got a wonderful house. We haven't got a television. Have you got a meeting today?
    Questions and negative statements formed with do are also common: Do you have any brothers and sisters? We don't have a car.

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