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What is the difference between does have and has? For example, compare she does have a car and she has a car.


2 Answers 2


Based on my understanding as a native speaker (London, England), normally you would say "she has a car."

However, if you want to emphasize that it's not true to say the she does not have a car, then you would say that she does have a car.

For example:

How can Jane get there?
She has a car.


How can Jane get there?
* She does have a car.


Does Jane have a car? Yes, she does.

She doesn't have a van, but she does have a car. (Also correct: She doesn't have a van, but she has a car.)

  • 2
    I feel your second boxed example is fine to say if someone wasn't too happy about Jane asking to be picked up, "does have" stressing that she should use it.
    – jontyc
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 23:32
  • 1
    @Sancho I'm not a native speaker, but if the exchange were as follows, I'd say that "does have" is necessary. "It's not true, she doesn't have a car!" "Oh yes, she does have a car, and a bike as well." As BDS pointed out earlier, you would use "do/does" in order to stress a concept. This could be done with other verbs as well, for example "I don't know who will win the match, but I do know who cannot win."
    – Paola
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 23:55
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    @Sancho: Good question. I can't think of one right now, would be interested to know if anyone else can. I think "She says she doesn't but really she does have a car" comes close, but it doesn't seem completely wrong to me with "really she has a car".
    – bdsl
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 23:56
  • 1
    @jontyc: Good point. I think in that case you'd be suggesting that she might be hiding the fact that she has a car, or that she is hoping that someone had forgotten that she has a car, and so you want to emphasize that the claim that she does not have a car is wrong, even though it was never explicitly stated.
    – bdsl
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 0:00
  • 3
    It's never really necessary, but it would sometimes be odd not to add the emphasis. "How is she going to get there when she doesn't have a car?" "But she does have a car!" You could also answer "But she has a car!"; it's perfectly grammatical, but it's not quite idiomatic. Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 0:36

In general, the difference between has and does have is simply that including the modal auxiliary verb do adds emphasis (which can also be achieved by intonation alone, but let that pass for now).

Thus, "She does have a car" might validly be used in various contexts. For example

  • surprise the speaker didn't previously realise she had a car, and he's just seen her drive past.

  • exasperation "We can't expect her to walk all the way to our house". "She does have a car!"

  • refutation "She lost everything in the flood". "Not quite - she does have a car."

etc., etc.

British speakers often use get as the auxiliary verb - "She has got a car" - again, adding emphasis.