Thursday, May 7

Lesson 9: Haven’t vs. Doesn’t Have

Copyright Free Images / Sufinawaz

Once more, let's take a look at the 2 kinds of "Have":

1.     I have a car.
2.     I have been to China.

Although both sentences above use the Verb “Have,” the first “Have” is an Action Verb (broadly speaking) while the second “Have” is the real Have” Verb. Because of this, if you change the 2 sentences into the negative, you can see that there are also 2 very different forms:
1.     I don’t have a car.
2.     I haven’t been to China.

Please be careful about this difference. Students often make these mistakes:

I haven’t a car.  = X 
I don’t have been to China. = X

By the way, the first sentence above is grammatically possible but less common. It’s better for you to practice “I don’t have + something/ someone” 

For example, I don’t have a car. I don’t have a class. I don’t have a friend. etc.

The 2 sentences above are examples of how students often forget the original formulas and mix them up into strange forms.

You might remember from Lesson 5 that the real Have” Verb must always be followed by another Verb and this Verb should be in the P.P. form. If you say:

I have eaten.
I have slept.
I have seen.
I have done.
You should also say:

I haven’t eaten.
I haven’t slept.
I haven’t seen.
I haven’t done.

Not “I don’t have eaten” or “I don’t have slept.”

The basic formulas are always true. If you turn the Action Verb "have" into the negative , you must use the Guest Verbs (from Lesson 8):

He has money.  (Positive)
He doesn’t have money.  (Negative)
He didn’t have money.  (Negative Past)
But the original Have” Verb must always be followed by the P.P. whether it's positive or negative:

They have met.
They haven’t met.  
She has studied.
She hasn’t studied.

Right now we should mention “Have to,” a Modal Verb and a cousin of the 2 kinds of "Have." 

You will realize that “Have to” is a bit strange because it’s different from its original family, the Modal Verbs.

When we change many Verbs into the negative, it’s easy because we just add “not” at the end. For example,


The “Be” Verbs
           is, are, was, were
isn’t, aren’t, wasn’t, weren’t

The “Have” Verbs
          has, have, had
hasn’t, haven’t, hadn’t

The Modal Verbs
          will, would, can, could, might,
may, must, should
won’t, wouldn’t, can’t, couldn’t, mightn’t, may not, mustn’t, shouldn’t

Except for the Action Verbs (Lesson 8):


go, sleep, talk, cook etc.
doesn’t go, don’t sleep, didn’t talk etc.

Like I said, “Have to” is strange because it's a Modal Verb but it doesn’t follow the other Modal Verbs. It becomes just like an Action Verb when we change it into the negative. Take a look: 

          The Modal Verbs

                   positive                                             negative
                   may                                         may not
                   might                                       mightn’t
                   could                                       couldn’t
                   can                                           can’t
                   should                                      shouldn’t
                   would                                       wouldn’t
                   will                                          won’t
                   have to                                    doesn’t have to
                   must                                        mustn’t
In summary, positive “Have to” is a Modal Verb so you should always put a base verb after it:

                   Ex. will go, might come, must join, have to study, should eat etc.

But if you change it into the negative, you should say: Don’t have to:

          Ex. don’t have to read, don’t have to buy, don’t have to call, don’t have to visit etc.

Lastly, let's compare these:

I have eaten. (original Have Verb)                        I haven’t eaten.
I have a girlfriend. (Action Verb Have)                I don’t have a girlfriend.
I have to leave. (Modal Verb Have to)                  I don’t have to leave.

To make the sentence that you want, avoid mixing up the different Have Verbs.

Keep on learning !

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