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See also: hâve



Alternative formsEdit

  • haue (alternative typography, obsolete)


From Middle English haven, from Old English habban, hafian (to have), from Proto-Germanic *habjaną (to have), durative of *habjaną (to lift, take up), from Proto-Indo-European *kh₂pyéti, present tense of *keh₂p- (to take, seize, catch). Cognate with Saterland Frisian hääbe (to have), West Frisian hawwe (to have), Dutch hebben (to have), Low German hebben, hewwen (to have), German haben (to have), Danish have (to have), Swedish hava (to have), Norwegian Nynorsk ha (to have), Icelandic hafa (to have), Latin capiō (take, verb), Russian хапать (xapatʹ, to seize). More at heave.

Since there is no common Indo-European root for a transitive possessive verb have (notice that Latin habeō is not related to English have), Proto-Indo-European probably lacked the have structure. Instead, the third person forms of be were used, with the possessor in dative case, compare Latin mihi est / sunt, literally to me is / are.[1]



have (third-person singular simple present has, present participle having, simple past and past participle had)

Additional archaic forms are second-person singular present tense hast, third-person singular present tense hath, and second-person singular past tense hadst.
  1. (transitive) To possess, own, hold.
    I have a house and a car.
    Look what I have here — a frog I found on the street!
  2. (transitive) To be related in some way to (with the object identifying the relationship).
    I have two sisters.
    I have a lot of work to do.
  3. (transitive) To partake of a particular substance (especially a food or drink) or action.
    I have breakfast at six o'clock.
    Can I have a look at that?
    I'm going to have some pizza and a beer right now.
  4. (auxiliary verb, taking a past participle) Used in forming the perfect aspect and the past perfect aspect.
    I have already eaten today.
    I had already eaten.
  5. (auxiliary verb, taking a to-infinitive) must.
    I have to go.
    Note: there is a separate entry for have to.
  6. (transitive) To give birth to.
    The couple always wanted to have children.
    My wife is having the baby right now!
    My mother had me when she was 25.
  7. (transitive) To engage in sexual intercourse with.
    He's always bragging about how many women he's had.
  8. (transitive) To accept as a romantic partner.
    Despite my protestations of love, she would not have me.
  9. (transitive with bare infinitive) To cause to, by a command, request or invitation.
    • 2002, Matt Cyr, Something to Teach Me: Journal of an American in the Mountains of Haiti, Educa Vision, Inc., ISBN 1584321385, 25:
      His English is still in its beginning stages, like my Creole, but he was able to translate some Creole songs that he's written into English—not the best English, but English nonetheless. He had me correct the translations. That kind of thing is very interesting to me. When I was learning Spanish, I would often take my favorite songs and try to translate them.
    They had me feed their dog while they were out of town.
  10. (transitive with adjective or adjective-phrase complement) To cause to be.
    He had him arrested for trespassing.
    The lecture's ending had the entire audience in tears.
  11. (transitive with bare infinitive) To be affected by an occurrence. (Used in supplying a topic that is not a verb argument.)
    The hospital had several patients contract pneumonia last week.
    I've had three people today tell me my hair looks nice.
  12. (transitive with adjective or adjective-phrase complement) To depict as being.
    Their stories differed; he said he'd been at work when the incident occurred, but her statement had him at home that entire evening.
    Anton Rogan, 8, was one of the runners-up in the Tick Tock Box short story competition, not Anton Rogers as we had it.The Guardian.
  13. Used as interrogative auxiliary verb with a following pronoun to form tag questions. (For further discussion, see "Usage notes" below)
    We haven't eaten dinner yet, have we?
    Your wife hasn't been reading that nonsense, has she?
    (UK usage) He has some money, hasn't he?
  14. (Britain, slang) To defeat in a fight; take.
    I could have him!
    I'm gonna have you!
  15. (Ireland) To be able to speak a language.
    I have no German.
  16. To feel or be (especially painfully) aware of.
    Dan certainly has arms today, probably from scraping paint off four columns the day before.
  17. To be afflicted with, to suffer from, to experience something negative
    He had a cold last week.
    We had a hard year last year, with the locust swarms and all that.
  18. To trick, to deceive
    You had me alright! I never would have thought that was just a joke.
  19. (transitive, often with present participle) To allow.
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room Chapter 2
      "You're a very naughty boy. If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times. I won't have you chasing the geese!"
  20. (transitive) To host someone.
    Thank you for having me!


Usage notesEdit

Interrogative auxiliary verb

have ...? (third-person singular has ...?, third-person singular negative hasn’t ...? or has ... not?, negative for all other persons, singular and plural haven’t ...? or have ... not?); in each case, the ellipsis stands for a pronoun.

  • Used with a following pronoun to form tag questions after statements that use “have” to form the perfect tense or (in UK usage) that use “have” in the present tense.
    “We haven't eaten dinner yet, have we?”
    “Your wife hasn't been reading that nonsense, has she?”
    “I'd bet that student hasn’t studied yet, have they?”
    “You've known all along, haven’t you?”
    “The sun has already set, has it not?”
    (UK usage) “He has some money, hasn’t he?” (see usage notes below)
  • This construction forms a tag that converts a present perfect tense sentence into a question. The tag always uses an subject pronoun substituting for the subject. Negative sentences use has or have, distinguished by number. Affirmative sentences use the same followed by not, or alternatively, more commonly, and less formally, hasn’t or haven’t. (See Appendix:English tag questions ).
  • In American usage, this construction does not apply to present tense sentences with has or have, or their negations, as a verb; it does not apply either to the construction “have got”. In those cases, use “does” or its negation instead. For example: “He has some money, doesn’t he?” and “I have got enough time, don’t I?” These constructions with “do”, “does”, “don’t” or “doesn’t” are considered incorrect in UK usage.


Derived termsEdit


See alsoEdit



Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: on · her · which · #25: have · or · from · this



Etymology 1Edit

From Old Norse hagi.


  • IPA(key): /haːvə/, [ˈhæːvə], [ˈhæːw̩]


have c (singular definite haven, plural indefinite haver)

  1. garden
  2. orchard
  3. allotment

Etymology 2Edit

From Old Norse hafa (to have, wear, carry), from Proto-Germanic *habjaną (to have, hold), from Proto-Indo-European *keh₂p- (to seize, grab).

Alternative formsEdit



have (imperative hav, infinitive at have, present tense har, past tense havde, perfect tense har haft)

  1. have, have got

Etymology 3Edit

See hav (sea, ocean).


  • IPA(key): /haːvə/, [ˈhæːvə]


have n

  1. plural indefinite of hav



From Middle Dutch have.


have f (plural haven)

  1. property, possession

Derived termsEdit



Borrowing from Old Norse háfr (net), from Proto-Germanic *hēb-, *hēf-, an ablaut form of *hafjaną (to have; take; catch). Related to English dialectal haaf (a pock-net).


  • (file)


have f (plural haves)

  1. (Jersey) shrimp net

Norwegian NynorskEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From Old Norse hafa, from Proto-Germanic *habjaną (to have), durative of Proto-Germanic *habjaną (to lift, take up), from Proto-Indo-European *keh₂p- (to take, seize, catch).


have (present tense hev, past tense havde, past participle havt, passive infinitive havast, present participle havande, imperative hav)

  1. form removed with the spelling reform of 2012; superseded by ha




  1. to have, to possess