Unit 4.2

To have: Common Expressions


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

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.

Remember, you cannot use have not in the common expressions.

  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.

(*Past simple)

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

The most common expressions using to have are:

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

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

The most commonly used are: have breakfast, have a good day, have a conversation, have a look

The structure, in the affirmative form, is:
Subject + have/has + object + … (has for third person singular)

The structure, in the negative form, is:
Subject + [do/does + not] + have + object + … (does not for the third person singular)

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.


English Grammar A1 Level Copyright © 2018 by books4languages. All Rights Reserved.