Difference between Has and Have

March 8, 2017 by Editorial Team

Some non-native English speakers may have difficulties deciding when to use “has” and “have.” Both verbs have similarities, but they also have a huge difference. So when do we use has and when do we use have? This article will discuss the difference between the two, which should answer our question.

Definitions

Has is the present form of the verb “to have” which means “to possess.” It is used when the subject is:

  1. A singular noun; for example: This piece of bread has mold all over it.
  2. A singular third person pronoun; for example: She has a brand new car. It’s crazy because she’s only 17 years old.
  3. A singular indefinite pronoun; for example: Everybody has the materials necessary for this afternoon’s activity.

“Has” is also a helping verb when using the present perfect tense of the verb. It is used with singular subjects:

  1. A singular noun; for example: Kayla has removed the angry customer from the call list.
  2. A singular third person pronoun; for example: It has never been easy for me to go to work and leave my son with a nanny.
  3. A singular indefinite pronoun; for example: Has anyone seen my glasses?

On the other hand, have is the present form of the verb “to have.” It is used when the subject is:

  1. A plural noun; for example: Millions of people have Bruno Mars’s new album.
  2. A first person pronoun; for example: I have $3 in my bank account.
  3. A second person pronoun; for example: Do you have a bag that matches your blue dress?
  4. A plural third person pronoun; for example: They have a new uniform.
  5. A plural indefinite pronoun: Only a few have Android devices in this group.

“Have” is also used as an auxiliary verb in the present perfect tense with the same types of subjects:

  1. A plural noun; for example: Fifty St. Louis residents have sent their entries for this month’s contest.
  2. A first person pronoun; for example: I have been trying to reach you but it seems like you’re avoiding me.
  3. A second person pronoun; for example: You have been doing it wrong the whole time. You’re supposed to mix the paint first.
  4. A plural third person pronoun; for example: Look at those faces! They have never been this excited before.
  5. A plural indefinite pronoun; for example: Both of them have signed the lease agreement.

Comparison

“Has” and “have” are the present forms of the verb “to have” and are used as helping verbs when using the present perfect tense.

“Has” is used when the subject is a singular noun, a singular third person pronoun or a singular indefinite pronoun. On the other hand, “have” is used when the subject is a plural noun, a first person pronoun, a second person pronoun, a plural third person pronoun or a plural indefinite pronoun.

Comparison Chart

HasHave
Used when the subject is a singular noun, a singular third person pronoun, or a singular indefinite pronounUsed when the subject is a plural noun, a first person pronoun, a second person pronoun, a plural third person pronoun, or a plural indefinite pronoun