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I can't remember where to use "has" and where to use "have". If I practice the exceptions and keep them revise few months I can toughly superficially memorize, but I again forgets them.

I'm non-native English-user as well belong autism-spectrum. I feel problems with memorizing discrete, 2-bit informations, for say bus route numbers, friend's birth-dates and institutions. whereas I've no problem with memorizing bigger yet continuous informations like how phloem loading and unloading mechanism works, or of what family a plant could be, or what does integral-calculus actually mean.

Could anyone could provide mnemonics to remember the use of Have and Has with their exceptions?

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    Has is used only for third person singular subjects - there are no exceptions to worry about! – curiousdannii Sep 11 '16 at 11:31
  • Have is 4-letter, so bigger ... plural. Has is 3 letter, small ... singular. However not universal. – Always Confused Sep 11 '16 at 11:55
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    @AlwaysConfused ... Not good enough. "I have" singular? "He has" singular? – GEdgar Sep 11 '16 at 12:00
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    @AlwaysConfused But ‘I’ and ‘you’ are also singular, that's why it doesn't work to just say “singular = has”. It has to be specifically “third person singular = has”. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 11 '16 at 12:16
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    @AlwaysConfused: If you think of the words as letters instead of sounds you will remain confused. have and has sound very similar, and differ only at the end - one has a final /v/, the other has a final /z/. In speech, they mostly appear as contractions -- he's and they've, for instance, pronounced /hi:z/ and /ðe:v/ -- and aren't pronounced as separate syllables. But I empathize with your perceptual condition; there may be a large-scale analysis available. I'll work on it. – John Lawler Sep 11 '16 at 16:01
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You need to understand that have and has follow the same pattern as all “he-verbs” type inflections. There is no exception to be learned here, and therefore than can be no mnemonic.

All third-person singular verbs in the present tense (plus also be in the preterite) have a distinct /z/ inflection ending in -s. “Third-person singular” means whenever the subject is any of he, she, it, your mother, the neighbor, the neighbor’s cat, or the neighborhood itself.

How this is spelled or said varies:

  • be: is, was
  • have: has
  • do: does
  • say: says
  • go: goes
  • get: gets
  • make: makes
  • take: takes
  • see: sees
  • find: finds
  • give: gives
  • need: needs
  • try: tries

If the unmarked version of the verb ends in an unvoiced consonant, that /z/ devoices to /s/, but not otherwise.

This /z/ form of the verb is sometimes called the VBZ form in part-of-speech tag markups.


Be careful, though, or the internet will spoof you:

Lolcat: “I can haz cheezeburgerz?”

That’s deliberately ungrammatical because kitties aren’t good at English.

  • You mean HAS=HAVE+S like does, tells etc? lot of helpful – Always Confused Sep 13 '16 at 17:55
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You can ask yourself this question to decide whether it's /has/ or /have/. [I understand binary confusion, I have it too.]

Has and have are used in contexts.

He has lots of money. She has none. The dog has a bone. The dog has no bone.

The test: In your sentence (you always need a sentence) is the word HE or SHE used? If yes, the answer is /has/.

If there is no he or she, is there a THING? An it? like; The cake (it) looks good. If yes, then the answer is /has/.

Summary: Ask the question: Does my sentence begin with SHE or HE or IT [thing] or does it contain SHE, HE or IT? If it is yes, HAS. If it does not begin or contain SHE or HE or IT [thing], use HAVE.

Mnemonic: HE, SHE, IT = HAS [in grammar, third person singular]

Everything else = HAVE [in grammar, all other persons, I, you, we, they!]

  • Your answer helped me a lot to quick-understand user@tchrist's answer – Always Confused Sep 13 '16 at 17:57
  • @AlwaysConfused Yes that's exactly how it works. – tchrist Sep 13 '16 at 18:24
  • Why this answer has been downvoted? nothing wrong I found here. I can't accecpt more than one answer due to site's structure but every piece of answers and comments are valuable for me. – Always Confused Sep 13 '16 at 19:02
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    @Always Confused In English, HE, SHE, IT is always with an S in the present tense. has, does, walks, talks, listens, flies (careful irregular), Even the verb /to be/: He is. HE/SHE/IT + S. Another device. – Lambie Sep 14 '16 at 13:27

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