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

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Language level

Intermediate: B1


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

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