Teaching Verb Have

We have already discussed two Basic Verbs: Be and Do.

Today we will deal with HAVE and complete the unit of Basic Verbs.

 Verb Have

Verb Have has three functions:

  1.  Helping Verb in Perfect Tenses
  2.  Modal – have to – meaning: must
  3.  Independent verb meaning possession.

 1.  Have as a helping verb will be dealt with when we discuss the Perfect Tenses.

     Short Preview:

We have already done the homework. (Present Perfect)

We have been waiting for you since five o’clock. (Present Perfect Progressive)

They explained that they had already paid the bills. (Past Perfect)

I saw that they had been working for hours. (Past Perfect Progressive)

2. Have to as a modal will be discussed in  the unit on Modals.

Today we will focus on the third function of Verb Have.

Verb HAVE (as an independent verb) refers to possession. The problem is that we don’t have a parallel structure in Hebrew and that’s why Hebrew speakers tend to find this verb difficult.

A simple sentence like 

I have a book.

   would be translated as

.יש לי ספר

In the Past:

I had a book

   would be translated as 

.היה לי ספר

The difference in structures might be confusing.

Let’s concentrate on the structure of HAVE as an independent verb:

Unlike BE, verb HAVE can be conjugated in all the Simple and Perfect Tenses. The Progressive Tenses are somewhar limited, but we will deal with this issue later on.

We have an English lesson  twice a week. (Present Simple)

I have too much work at the moment. (Present Simple – even though the action is taking place now).

I had a very good time at the party last night. (Past Simple)

I hope you will have a great vacation. (Future Simple)

They thought they would have lunch in Jerusalem, but they did not. (Future Past).

I have had a very hard day. (Present Perfect)

Dana looked tired because she had had a very hard day. (Past Perfect)

Issues that need to be explained.

1. Verb Have as an independent verb meaning possession functions almost like a regular verb. We form the Interrogative and Negative Forms of Verb Have in the Present Simple and Past Simple adding the helping verb DO.

Do you have tickets for the late show?

No I don’t. I don’t have any tickets.

Did you have a good time at the party last night?

No, I didn’t. I did not have a good time because I did not feel very well.

2. The structure of Have in the Present Perfect and Past Perfect might be confusing because we have a combination of have as a helping verb and have as the main verb.

I have had a very hard day and my sister has had a very hard day too.

They explained that they had had a wonderful weekend in Eilat.

(The verbs in red function as helping verbs and those in blue – as the main verbs.)

3. We may use the verb HAVE in Progressive Tenses when the meaning of HAVE is not possession (יש לי), but it derives its meaning from the noun phrase next to it:

I am having lunch now. (אני אוכלת ארוחת צהריים)

I am having a lot of fun. (אני מאוד נהנית)

I was having a shower when the phone rang.

(.התקלחתי כשהטלפון צלצל)

In my next post we will discuss different ways of teaching Basic Verbs. We will also discuss the differences between HAVE, THERE IS and IT IS.

And that’s all for today.

Have a great week!

For further explanations, please see:

דקדוק אנגלי לדוברי עברית, עמ’ 45-48

For practice, please see:

The New Language Guidebook and Workbook, p 35-40.

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