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“Has vs Have”: How can you determine when to use Has or Have?

by Ankita Tripathy

English has become one of the most important and widely spoken languages in the world right now. Most companies that are multinational prefer to appoint or hire employees who are fluent in the language. 

Thus, it has become a major factor around which life revolves. You can blame it on the colonialism and imperialism of the British empire of yesteryear, but it is what it is.

In this article, I am going to talk about the differences between and the usage of have vs has.

Has Vs. Have

Has Vs Have

Both of them are verbs but of different forms. This is the major reason why they cannot be used for the same purpose. And no, the difference in the form is not tense.

Both has and have are used to express possession, depending on the person.

Although there are times when both the words are used interchangeably in place of each other, there are certain rules that have to be followed at all times.

When To Use

While both the words are the forms of the verb to have, they are used differently in different places. The primary meaning of the word denotes possession. That is, to own something.

Have and has both are used to indicate possession, but most importantly, in the present tense.

Present Tense: The tense form that is used to describe events that are taking place in the present

Have: When To Use

Have is the conjugation of the to have a verb that is used while:

  • Speaking in first person singular and plural narrative (I, We)

Example: I have a pen.

We have to come back by sunset.

  • Speaking in the second person singular narrative (You)

Example: You have to come to the party.

  • Speaking in third person plural narrative (they)

Example: They have arrived at the station.

Has: When To Use

Has is the conjugation of the to have a verb that is used while:

  • Speaking in third person singular narrative (he, she, it)

Example: She has not been feeling well

It has been sent to the office.

He has to go to school.

Read : woman vs women: Are woman and Women the same or Different?

Using Have And Has In A Different Context

Now that you know when you should use has vs. have, let us delve further to understand and see how these two conjugations of the verb to have are used in different contexts.

Just like the conjugations do and does, the two forms of the to have verb are also used in many areas depending on the noun and the person narrative.

As Possession

One of the most important meanings of the to have verb is its meaning of possession (to own or possess). There are many ways in which you can use the words has and have for indicating possession. Below are some examples to make things easier.

Example of have:

  • You have to go to the party.
  • We have no money on us right now.
  • John and Maya have bought a car.
  • They have to visit the hospital today.
  • I do not have the time to go to the market.

Example of has:

  • Rita has to come to school today.
  • Betty has a power bank.
  • She has to finish her homework today.
  • He has been unwell.
  • The car has met with an accident.

Read : “principal vs principle” – When to use these two words?

As Auxiliaries

Auxiliary verbs are also known as the helping verbs or linking verbs. They are used to form a verb please by joining with the active verbs in a sentence. The has and have forms connect with the past participles of an active verb and form a verb that is in the present perfect tense.

It is used to describe a situation that has happened in the past but still holds meaning and function in the present. Some examples to make things more understandable are given below.

Examples of have:

  • I have loved my wife since the day we first met.
  • We have worked at the same place for a decade.
  • I have written a book.

Examples of has:

  • Kajal has lived in that house since the day she was born.
  • My school has reopened after the holidays.
  • He has known her for a very long time.

Read : “everyday vs every day” – When to use this two words?

As Modals

The two conjugations has and have are used as modals when the sentence requires a word denoting compulsion or immediacy to create meaning.

This type of usage influences the subject by compelling them to take action in the present tense. Given below are some examples that can help you understand this rule.

Example of have:

  • We have to finish it by tonight.
  • I have to wake up on time.
  • They have to quit smoking immediately.

Example of has:

  • My brother has to be admitted to the hospital soon.
  • She has to perform well in the qualifier round to be selected.
  • It has to be submitted by the afternoon.

Read : “anytime vs any time – When to use this two words?

Key Differences

While it has been established that both has and have are conjugations of the same verb to have and are in the present tense, there are still some differences.

Here is a chart that can help you remember the differences well.

DefinitionIt is another form of the base verb have that is used in third personIt is the base verb and can be used as both the main verb as well as the auxiliary verb
Pronunciation HazHav
Person narrativeThird personFirst person and second person
Pronouns usedHe, She, It, TheyI, We, You, They
Example She has been admitted to an Ivy League College.I have bought the car that I wanted.

Has Been Vs Have Been

Has Been Vs Have Been
Present Perfect Continuous Tense: The tense form that is used to denote something that happened or has begun in the past but is still continuing in the present.

Both the conjugations of the word have been vs has been are used in the present tense to form the present perfect continuous tense.

The usage of the forms has vs have been still remains the same. Here also, they are used with their individual person narrative.

Have been: It is used in the present perfect continuous in the first person (singular), second (singular), and third person (plural).


  • I have been going to swimming classes since I was ten years old.
  • You have been performing really well for some time.
  • They have been exercising regularly.

Has been: It is used on the present perfect continuous in its singular form in the thirds person narrative only.


  • She has been down with a fever for three days.
  • He has been hitting the gym off lately.
  • It has been sent to the courier company.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Has Past Tense?

No. Has is the third person singular number present tense of the verb to have.

2. Has Vs Have Singular Plural?

The conjugations of the to have verb are has and have. Have is used with the plural pronouns in the first and third person narrative. Has is used with the plural pronouns of third person narrative.

Wrapping Up!

Whether you are a student of the language or an employee working in a multinational company, knowing English has become extremely important for everyone. People who know the language fluently have an added advantage in many areas.

The words principle and principal have separate meanings and that is why they are used in different contexts. But the words have and has are similar in meaning. They are only used in different contexts depending on the singular and plural form of the noun, and the person narrative in the sentence.

If you were having difficulties understanding the differences between has vs have, I hope this article has covered most of the problems. Feel free to share your thoughts about the article.

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