Have is an irregular verb. Its three forms are have, had, had. The present simple third person singular is has:
We usually have breakfast at about eight.
I had a strange dream last night.
She has quite dark hair.
We use have as a main verb and an auxiliary verb.
Have: typical error
We don’t use have in the third person singular of the present simple:
A meeting has been set up for Monday, 4pm.
A meeting have been…
Have as a main verb
The main verb have has lots of uses.
We use have to talk about things that we own or possess:
Do you have a car?
They have two dogs, Scruffy and Milly.
Events, actions, experiences and activities
I’m going to have a bath.
Let’s have a party to celebrate your birthday!
We have a break at 10 am.
Did you have a nice time in London?
Eating food and meals
We had a wonderful meal in the new restaurant on Elm Street.
Two coffees, please.B:
Large or small?A:
Er large. You want a large one, do you?C:
Mhm. Can I have a cake as well?
Shall we have lunch together sometime?
Days or parts of days
Have a nice day!
I had such a tough day.
Did you have a nice morning (or afternoon, evening, birthday, holiday)?
Hygiene routines and therapies
I had a shower and got ready to go out.
He needs to have a shave both in the morning and in the evening.
The doctor recommended that I should have massages every week on my back.
Conversations and interactions
I need to have a chat with Joan about your hours.
They had a big argument about money.
The chef and the manager had a row in the kitchen and everyone in the restaurant could hear them shouting.
She had a rest in the afternoon.
Did you have a good night’s sleep?
I used to have terrible dreams when I was young.
Accidents and problems with cars
She had an accident when she was young. She fell off a horse.
They had a crash but luckily no one was injured.
We had a breakdown on the motorway once.
Thankfully, I have never had a puncture.
They have a 15-hour flight from Rome.
Have a safe trip.
Did you have a pleasant journey?
Other common expressions with have
have a baby
have a think
have a try
have a problem
have a go
have a feeling/sense
have an operation
have a clue/idea
have a long wait
have a laugh (informal, a good time)
have a shock
have a surprise
Have: using the continuous form
We can use the continuous form to talk about an activity that is happening:
She’s having a bath right now. She’ll call you back.
We use the continuous form to talk about an activity that is planned for a future time:
I’m having lunch with Miriam on Wednesday.
They’re having a surprise party for Mike on Saturday night.
She’s having a baby in June.
We use the continuous form of have when the event or action is ongoing or repeated:
She was having nightmares for a year after the accident. (A nightmare is a bad dream.)
I’ve been having discussions with my boss about a transfer to Edinburgh. I think he’s going to agree.
He’s having trouble with his car.
Have as an auxiliary verb
Have is one of three auxiliary verbs in English: be, do and have. We use have before -ed forms to make the present perfect and past perfect.
have + -ed form
had + -ed form
We use have, not do, to make questions and negatives of perfect verb forms.