0

Is the following sentence correct English?

Have you the address?

The address in question is obvious to the person being asked.

It's normal to ask such a question as "Do you have the address?" or even "Have you got the address?" But is it acceptable to use just the verb have without do or got?

2

It depends on the kind of English that you are talking about and whether you're only concerned about contemporary English.

It would certainly have been normal in Early Modern English. Think of the nursery rhyme:

Baa, baa, black sheep,

Have you any wool?

In contemporary North American English, this has completely given way to the version with do support.

It has also gone this way in British English, although have got is common. The version without do support is associated with older speakers, or with more formulaic sentences (such as 'have you any idea ...').

It would appear, however, that this is still not uncommon in Irish English.

  • 'Have you any ...?' is still quite common in the UK, perhaps as a backlash against the use of the once dreaded word 'got'. It's probably correct to say that it is in a less colloquial register than the version with 'got'. 'Have you a ...?' does sound rather rarefied nowadays. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 6 '15 at 8:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.