When to Use HAS vs HAVEPin

Has vs. Have: How to Use Have vs. Has in Sentences?

Has vs. have!!! One of the most common mistakes people make is confusing “has” and “have.” These two verbs are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings and uses. Understanding the difference between “has” and “have” is crucial for clear and effective communication.

Whether you’re writing an essay, composing an email, or having a conversation, using the correct verb can make a big difference in how your message is received. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the differences between “has” and “have,” explore their various uses, and provide examples to help you master these essential verbs. So, let’s get started!

Has vs. Have

What are the differences between these two verbs?

Subject-Verb Agreement

The first thing to understand when using has vs. have is subject-verb agreement. “Has” is used with the third-person singular (he, she, it), while “have” is used with the first and second-person singular (I, you) and plural (we, they). For example, “He has a car,” but “We have a car.”

Conjugation and Contractions

Another important aspect to consider is the conjugation of the verbs. “Have” is the base form of the verb, while “has” is the third-person singular present tense. “Had” is the past tense of both “has” and “have.” Additionally, contractions can be used to make sentences more concise and natural-sounding. For example, “He‘s had enough” instead of “He has had enough.”


Let’s look at some examples to see how has vs. have are used in different contexts:

  • Indicating possession: “She has a cat” vs. “We have a dog.”
  • Completed actions in the past: “He had finished his homework” vs. “They had completed their project.”
  • Experience in the past: “I have traveled to Europe” vs. “She has never been on a plane.”
  • Present perfect tense: “He has been studying for hours” vs. “They have not started yet.”
  • Modal verb: “You have to eat your vegetables” vs. “She has to go to work.”
  • Singular object: “It has a scratch” vs. “They have scratches.”

Grammar Rules and Exceptions

While the basic rules for using has vs. have are straightforward, there are some exceptions and irregular verbs to consider. For example, “there has” is often used as a contraction for “there has been” or “there has not been.” Additionally, irregular verbs like “to be” have their own unique forms in the present and past tenses.

Possession and Ownership

Using Has and Have for Possession

The primary meaning of the verb “to have” is to possess, own, hold for use, or contain. We use “have” and “has” to indicate that a person or noun is in possession of something. Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • I have a car.
  • She has a cat.
  • They have a house.

In each of these examples, the verb “have” is used to indicate possession. Note that when we use “has,” it is for the third-person singular subject, while “have” is used for first and second-person subjects, as well as third-person plural subjects.

Third-Person Singular Conjugation

When using the verb “to have” in the third-person singular, we add an “s” to the end of the verb. For example:

  • He has a bike.
  • She has a book.
  • The company has a website.

It’s important to note that the third-person singular conjugation of “to have” is different from the other persons. This means that we use “has” instead of “have” when the subject is he, she, or it.

Using Has and Have with Pronouns

We can also use “have” and “has” with pronouns to indicate possession. Here are some examples:

  • I have mine.
  • You have yours.
  • He has his.
  • She has hers.
  • It has its.
  • We have ours.
  • They have theirs.

In each of these examples, the possessive pronoun is used with the verb “have” or “has” to indicate ownership.

Auxiliary Verbs and Modal Verbs

Using Have as an Auxiliary Verb

As an auxiliary verb, “have” is used to form the present perfect tense, which is used to describe an action that happened at an unspecified time in the past or that started in the past and continues in the present. The present perfect tense is formed by combining “have” (or “has” for third-person singular subjects) with the past participle of the main verb.

For example:

  • We have eaten dinner already.
  • She has seen that movie before.

“Have” can also be used as an auxiliary verb to form the past perfect tense, which is used to describe an action that was completed before another action in the past. The past perfect tense is formed by combining “had” with the past participle of the main verb.

For example:

  • We had finished our homework before we went to bed.
  • She had already left by the time we arrived.

Using Have as a Modal Verb

As a modal verb, “have” is used to express obligation or necessity. When used in this way, “have” is followed by the base form of the main verb.

For example:

  • We have to finish our homework before we can watch TV.
  • She has to be at work by 9 AM.

“Have” can also be used as a modal verb to express possibility or permission. In these cases, “have” is followed by the past participle of the main verb.

For example:

  • We might have finished our homework by now if we had started earlier.
  • She could have taken the day off if she had wanted to.

Combining with Other Verbs

Using Has and Have with Other Verbs

When combining has vs. have with other verbs, it is important to remember that “has” is used with third-person singular subjects, while “have” is used with all other subjects. For example:

  • He has eaten breakfast already.
  • We have been waiting for an hour.

In the present tense, “has” and “have” are used to indicate possession, as in “he has a car” or “we have a house.” In the past tense, “had” is used instead, as in “he had a car” or “we had a house.”

When using the present perfect tense, which involves more complex time relationships, “has,” “have,” or “had” is combined with a past participle to indicate an action that was completed prior to the present. For example:

  • We have waited for hours in this line.
  • You have finished the job on time.

Using Has and Have with Food

When it comes to food, “has” and “have” can be used to indicate whether or not someone has eaten a particular meal. For example:

  • He has eaten breakfast already.
  • We have not had lunch yet.

It is also common to use has vs. have with food-related verbs, such as “eat,” “cook,” and “prepare.” For example:

  • She has cooked dinner for us tonight.
  • They have prepared a delicious meal for us.

Overall, understanding when to use has vs. have with other verbs and in different tenses can help to convey clear and accurate information in your writing.


In conclusion, understanding the difference between has vs. have is crucial for proper grammar usage. “Has” is used with singular third-person entities, while “have” is used with first and second-person entities and plural nouns or groups.

It is important to note that using the correct form of “has” or “have” can impact the clarity and accuracy of your writing. Incorrect usage can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.

Difference between Has vs. HaveInfographic

When to Use Has vs. Have

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1 year ago

I like how they showed when to use has,had and have

1 year ago


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