Has vs Have | Difference, Meanings & Examples

Commonly Confused Words updated on  February 26, 2024 4 min read

“Has” and “have” are different forms of the verb “have,” which is primarily used to indicate ownership.

  • “Has” is used with singular subjects (e.g., “Dave”) and third-person singular pronouns (e.g., “it,” “she,” “he”).
  • “Have” is used in all other contexts, including with plural subjects (e.g., “kids”); first-person singular and plural pronouns (e.g., “I,” “we”); second-person singular and plural pronouns (e.g., “you”); and third-person plural pronouns (e.g., “they”).

Examples: Has in a sentence

Examples: Have in a sentence

Dave has a red car.

Kids have a colorful imagination.

It has very cool features.

We have many years of experience.

She has a new motorcycle.

You have a beautiful smile.

He has an elegant suit.

They have the biggest house on the block.

Has meaning

“Has” is a form of the verb “have,” which has several definitions and functions but is primarily used to denote possession, ownership, or the presence of something. For example, “Linda has a book” indicates that someone named Linda holds a book in her possession.

Additionally, the verb “have” also helps convey relationships, characteristics, and illnesses.

“Has” is always used with a singular noun (e.g., “the dog has”) or a third-person singular pronoun (e.g., “he has,” “she has,” “it has”).

Examples: How to use has in a sentence
She has a cute puppy named Floyd.
The car has a scratch on the passenger door.
Thomas has to be in class on time.
He has to feed the cat before he leaves.
Karen has passed the test.

Have meaning

“Have” is a conjugated form of the verb “have” and functions in various contexts. The word “have” is used with:

  • Plural subjects: e.g., dogs, cats, kids, rooms
  • First-person singular pronoun: I
  • First-person plural pronoun: we
  • Second-person singular and plural pronouns: you
  • Third-person plural pronoun: they

Remember, “have” has many uses and meanings. It’s primarily used to denote possession or ownership, but it can also help to convey relationships, characteristics, and illnesses.

Examples: How to use have in a sentence
Cats have retractable claws.
I have a question for you.
We have a big surprise for the guests.
You have a great sense of humor.
They have the cutest smiles I’ve ever seen.

Using has and have with other verbs

“Has” and “have” are also often used with other verbs to indicate necessity or possibility. For example, they are used in the modal expressions “has to” and “have to,” which convey a sense of compulsion or necessity and are synonymous with the modal verb “must.”

For instance, in the sentence “Clarence has to go to work,” the modal phrase “has to” signifies an obligation to perform the action of the main verb (“go”).

Using “has” to indicate necessity or possibility

Using “have” to indicate necessity or possibility

She has to fill out the application to be considered for the job.

I have to leave in an hour to make it back home on time.

He has to let her know that he’ll be arriving late.

They have to get at least one hundred signatures for their petition.

It has to be charged completely before you can use it.

You have to beat the record to compete in the championship round.

“Has” and “have” can also function as auxiliary verbs and are used with other verbs to form various tenses. For example, they are used in the present perfect tense to describe completed actions and in the present perfect continuous tense to refer to an action that began in the past and continues up to the present or an action that was happening until recently but is still relevant to the present.

Examples: Using has and have with other verbs
Tom has finished his work for the day.
We have reached our goal for the quarter.
I have been taking karate classes.
He has been working on the report, so he’s ready.
I will have cleaned up by the time you arrive.

Additionally, only “have” is used to create the future perfect tense, which describes an action that will finish sometime in the future before another action or event, and the future perfect continuous, which refers to actions that will continue up until a future point.

Examples: Using have with other verbs
I will have cleaned up by the time you arrive.
Tomorrow, I will have been working here for three years.

Do you want to know more about common mistakes, commonly confused words, or other language topics? Check out some of our other language articles full of examples and quizzes.


Idioms

Parts of speech

Fallacies

Diamond in the rough

Irregular verb

Slippery slope fallacy

Idioms

Gerund

Sunk cost fallacy

Piece of cake

Infinitive phrase

Red herring fallacy

Better late than never

Infinitive

Appeal to authority fallacy

Salt of the earth

Adverb

Circular reasoning fallacy


Frequently asked questions about has vs have

Is it okay to say had had?

Yes, “had had” is grammatically correct when used in past perfect tense constructions to describe an action that occurred before another action in the past.

For example, in the sentence “She realized she had had too much candy when she started getting a sugar rush,” the first “had” is an auxiliary verb, and the second “had” is the main verb in its past participle form.

Is it everybody has or everybody have?

The correct phrase is “everybody has,” not “everybody have.” “Have” and “has” serve different grammatical functions and cannot be used interchangeably.

✔ Everybody has to help.
✘ Everybody have to help.

Is it everyone has or everyone have?

The correct phrase is “everyone has,” not “everyone have.” “Have” and “has” serve different grammatical functions and cannot be used interchangeably.

✔ Everyone has to be here on time.
✘ Everyone have to be here on time.

How do you use has and have with collective nouns?

“Have” and “has” serve different grammatical functions and cannot be used interchangeably. In American English, collective nouns are treated as singular nouns. Therefore, they are typically accompanied by “has,” not “have.”

✔ The team has decided to skip the meeting.

✘ The team have decided to skip the meeting.



Tags

Gina Rancano

Gina holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, as well as a certificate in professional and public writing from Florida International University. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading.

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.