Unit 4.2

To have: Common Expressions

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Introduction

We use the verb to have to form common expressions in informal communication.

Form

Have is used as the main verb in the sentence, but have got cannot be used in these expressions.

Common expressions, in the affirmative form, usually have this structure:
Subject + have/has + object + …

  • The third person singular changes from have to has.

Common expressions, in the negative form, have this structure:
Subject + do/does + not + have + object + …

  • The third person singular changes from do to does.
  • You cannot use have not in the common expressions.

Example

  1. I have a shower every morning.
    I don’t have a shower every morning.
  2. Have a good journey!
    Don’t have a good journey!
  3. We had* a fight.
    We didn’t have* a fight.
  4. She had* a look at the book.
    She didn’t have a look at the book.

Use

 The use and meaning of the verb to have depends on the noun that follows it.

We use to have in most common expressions like:

  1. Have + a dreama drink, a meal, a rest, a shower, breakfast, coffee, dinner, lunch, tea…;
  2. Have + a bad day, a bad time, a good day, a good time, a good journey, a nice day…;
  3. Have + a conversation, a fight…;
  4. Have + a looka try

Summary

The verb to have appears in some common expressions in informal communication.

The use and meaning of the verb to have depends on the noun that follows it: have breakfast, have a good day, have a conversation, have a look

When we use to have in its affirmative form, we start with the subject followed by have and an object. In the third person singular, we use has.

When we use to have in its negative form, we start with the subject followed by do not have and an object. In the third person singular, we use does not have.

For example:
— Affirmative: “Have a rest.” / “Have got a rest.” = We don’t use have got in these expressions.
— Negative: “Don’t have a rest now.” / “Have not a rest now.” = In negative form we cannot use have not.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

Exercises

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