Rob and Ashlie discuss different uses of the word ‘have’ and loads of other things.

Watch the video. Then go to Task and do the activities.


Language level

Intermediate: B1


i love sharpens the brain...

Great!I really enjoyed doing tasks it.Thank you:)

What about the interrogative forms of have as verb (ex. to have breakfast) and have as possession (ex. I have a dog)? Thanks

Hi baddy,

I'm afraid I don't understand what exactly you are asking, but I suppose you're wondering how to form a question with 'have breakfast'. That really depends on the time. For example, 'What time do you have breakfast?' (present simple) and 'Have you had breakfast?' (present perfect).

As for 'have a dog', you can use both 'have' and 'have got', as in this case there is possession. You could say, for example, 'Have you got a dog?' or 'Do you have a dog?', but other times are possible too.

If you have any more questions about this, please write the questions that you're not sure about and we can tell you if they're correct or not.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirk,
thanks for your reply. My problems is about questions with "have" in the present simple.
At school I studied that "have" is both an auxiliary and an ordinary verb.
- You use have as an auxiliary verb when it is used for possession. Questions: Have you got a dog? Have you a TV?
- You use "have" as an ordinary verb when you talk about food, meals and in other expressions. When "have" is an ordinary verb, it needs "do" to build questions: What time do you have breakfast?
The same thing can be said for the negative sentences:
- I haven't got a dog - have as auxiliary
- I haven't a dog - ibd
- I don't have breakfast at 7 but at 8 o'clock - have as ordinary verb
But you wrote that "Do you have a dog?" is also possible.
Therefore: what is the rule?
Is it perhaps that "have" is used as an auxiliary only in compound tenses? ("have got" is in fact a present perfect).
In this case also "I don't have a dog" could be correct, while "Have you a TV?" and "I haven't a dog" are not correct.
I thank in advance for a reply.

Hi baddy,

Thanks for explaining this in more detail - now I understand.

It's true that have is used as both an auxiliary and as a verb to express possession. It's also used as a delexical verb, i.e. in expressions like have breakfast (where it's neither indicating possession nor acting as an auxiliary).

In have got (which is not a present perfect form), have functions as an auxiliary verb, and so it is used to form questions like you say: 'Have you got a dog?' But when have is used to express possession, in modern English it works like any other ordinary verb, i.e. in the present simple, the verb do is used as an auxiliary: 'Do you have a dog?' The form 'Have you a dog?', though correct in older forms of English, isn't normally used any more.

When have is used as a delexical verb, it functions as an ordinary verb, i.e. you must use do to form questions and the negative in the present simple: 'Do you have breakfast at home or in a cafe?'

That's a lot! I hope it clarifies things for you, but if not, please let us know.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot.
bye baddy

Hi Kirk,

could you please advise me where to start from in learing English, any approch to be taken? I do not keep jumbing between section. if you can draw me a map that I can follow I would be gratfull. assuming my level is intermediate. thanks again for all the great efforts that you and the rest of your team are doing !

Moustafa Raad

Hi Moustafa,

I wish it were so easy!  If we could 'draw a map' for all our users then we certainly would, but learning is a very individual process which depends in great part on your strengths and weaknesses, your interests and your needs in English.  What is best for one learner is not best for another.  However, I can make some general suggestions:

One good approach is to start with skills work.  Use the listening and reading materials here on LearnEnglish (remember that the listening texts usually have transcripts to read as well) and supplement them with selected areas from the grammar sections (particularly herehere and here).  As you are intermediate level, I would not start with the Elementary Podcast section but rather try something more challenging, such as our Magazine (aimed at intermediate to advanced learners) or the Talk About series.  Try different sections to see which are most useful to you.

As you listen, do the exercises.  Then, listen again with the transcript (available for most of our recordings) and note any language features which are new, both lexis (vocabulary and phrases) and grammar.  Then use the language sections linked above to work on those areas.  That way you will work on language that you need, rather than just going through structures for the sake of it.  Make a vocabulary notebook, organised by topic (e.g. 'work', 'sport', 'food' etc.) in which you can keep a record of new words that you come across as you work.

Remember to practise your English.  This could be by speaking with a partner if you know someone with whom you can practise, or it could be by speaking aloud when you are alone at home - this is a very useful technique.  You can also post comments on LearnEnglish in the comments sections.  We can't correct what you write, but we do read everything before it is posted and other users will respond, so you can have a conversation that way.

Most of all, practise as often as possible.  It's better to practise an hour every day than seven hours once a week, so make your practice as frequent as possible.

I hope those suggestions are helpful.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Rob, you are the best teacher I've ever seen.