Things HAVE or HAS Changed? Which is correct?

Marcus Froland

With the English language’s vast array of rules and exceptions, it can be challenging to remember the correct grammar usage in every scenario. One common confusion lies in knowing when to use “have” or “has” when indicating change. The phrase “Things Have Changed” is actually the grammatically correct form due to the subject-verb agreement between the plural subjects and the verb.

In this article, we’ll explore the nuances surrounding the usage of “have” and “has” in different contexts, providing guidelines to help you master the art of subject-verb agreement. By the end, you’ll be able to confidently determine when to use “Things Have Changed” and avoid common errors that can trip up even the most seasoned writers.

Understanding the Basics of “Have” and “Has”

Mastering the use of “have” and “has” in sentences is key to improving your grasp of grammar rules. Both “have” and “has” originate from the verb “to have,” and are employed to denote possession, holding, or undergoing an experience. To help you better understand their proper usage, we’ll examine the distinction between these two verb forms and provide examples that showcase the correct application of “have” and “has” in various contexts.

In English grammar, subject-verb usage is crucial for navigating the complexities of the language. “Have” is generally used with first-person singular (I), second-person singular and plural (you), and third-person plural (they) subjects. Conversely, “Has” is more suitable for third-person singular subjects (he, she, it). Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • Have – I have a dog, you have a cat, they have horses.
  • Has – She has red hair, he has eight siblings, it has many special features.

The choice between “have” and “has” hinges on whether the subject is singular or plural. Once you have identified the subject’s plurality, selecting the right verb form becomes much easier.

Subject Have Has
First-person singular (I) ✔️
Second-person (you) ✔️
Third-person plural (they) ✔️
Third-person singular (he, she, it) ✔️

Here’s a blockquote to help you remember the distinction:

“Use ‘have’ when the subject is I, you, or they, and ‘has’ when the subject is he, she, or it.”

Familiarizing yourself with this basic grammar rule will enable you to use “have” and “has” effectively in your writing and day-to-day communication. Remember to consider the subject’s plurality and apply the verb form accordingly.

The Role of Subject-Verb Agreement in Grammar

One critical aspect of good grammar is ensuring that subjects and verbs align properly according to their singularity or plurality. This fundamental rule is called subject-verb agreement, and it can significantly affect the readability and credibility of your writing. Let’s see why “Things Have Changed” is grammatically correct and explore how to identify plural and singular subjects.

Why “Things Have Changed” is Grammatically Correct

In the phrase “Things Have Changed,” “things” as a plural noun dictates the usage of the plural verb “have.” Conversely, if the subject were singular, like “something,” it would require the singular verb “has,” forming “Something has changed.” Adhering to subject-verb agreement ensures that verbs correctly conjugate in relation to their subjects.

Subject-verb agreement is the foundation of English grammar. Ignoring these rules not only leads to confusion but also damages the credibility of your writing.

Identifying Plural and Singular Subjects

Understanding whether a subject is singular or plural is essential for correct verb conjugation. Singular subjects like “he,” “she,” and “it” require the singular verb “has,” whereas plural subjects such as “they,” “we,” and “I” necessitate the use of “have.”

Consider the following examples:

  • He has the book.
  • They have the book.

There are, however, situational exceptions when dealing with collective nouns (e.g., “the team”). In such cases, both “has” and “have” can be acceptable depending on the intended meaning.

For example:

  1. The team has won the game. (Considering the team as a singular entity)
  2. The team have brought their equipment. (Referring to each individual member of the team)

Proper subject-verb agreement is critical in ensuring grammatically correct and credible writing. This essential grammatical principle ensures that verbs are conjugated according to the singularity or plurality of their subjects, leading to accurate and coherent sentences.

The Present Perfect Tense: Have/Has Changed

The present perfect tense is an essential element of English grammar that helps us discuss actions from the past that are still relevant in the present. This unique tense is particularly utilized to: emphasize the continuous nature of an action or state; or highlight experiences that have an impact on the current moment.

Forming the present perfect tense involves combining the auxiliary verbs “have” or “has” with a past participle. The choice between “have” and “has” depends on the singularity or plurality of the subject, as discussed in previous sections. Let’s examine some examples of present perfect tense usage:

  • She has always loved running.
  • I have been going to ballet class since I was five.
  • They have changed the way we communicate.

As seen in these examples, the present perfect tense communicates a sense of past actions or events that hold current relevance. Notice how the subjects dictate whether “have” or “has” is used. For instance, “She” is a third-person singular subject and pairs with “has,” while “I” and “They” are plural subjects, thus requiring “have.”

“I have come across many friends in my life, but only a few have left a lasting impression.”

In the quote above, the speaker reflects on their lifelong collection of friendships and emphasizes the current relevance by using the present perfect tense. This is a prime example of how this grammar construction reveals the importance of past actions to the present.

Understanding the proper use of present perfect tense is crucial for expressing how past actions influence the present. Being well-versed in its construction will not only improve your grammar but also elevate your ability to convey thoughts effectively.

Subject Auxiliary Verb Past Participle Example Sentence
I have changed I have changed my diet.
You have traveled You have traveled to many places.
She has worked She has worked here for ten years.
They have completed They have completed the project on time.

To recap, when using the present perfect tense, remember to pair “have” or “has” with a past participle depending on the subject’s singularity or plurality. By doing so, you’ll excel in conveying past actions that hold current significance.

Special Cases: Using “Have” and “Has” with Different Pronouns

When it comes to using “have” and “has” in sentences, it is essential to pair the correct verb form with the relevant pronoun. This section will provide you with examples to illustrate the proper pairing between “have” and different pronouns and instances when “has” is the appropriate choice.

Examples that Illustrate “Have” in Sentences

The verb “have” is the correct choice with first-person pronouns, second-person pronouns, and third-person plural pronouns. Here are a few examples of “have” in sentences with these pronouns:

  • First-person pronoun: “I have seen that movie.”
  • Second-person pronoun: “You have been there, right?”
  • Third-person plural pronoun: “They have worked hard on this project.”

These examples highlight instances of ownership or personal experiences for singular and plural subjects while using “have.”

Instances When “Has” is the Appropriate Choice

Conversely, “has” is the fitting choice for third-person singular pronouns and names – indicating ownership or experiences separately for each. Provided are some instances when “has” is suitable for use:

  • Third-person singular pronoun: “She has been to school.”
  • Name as third-person singular: “Peter has a dog.”

These examples showcase the proper use of “has” with third-person singular pronouns and names, signifying individual experiences and singular ownership.

Understanding the differences between “have” and “has” and their proper pairing with pronouns plays a crucial role in mastering English grammar. By studying the examples provided and practicing regularly, you will improve your grasp of these essential grammar components and avoid common mistakes.

Navigating Complex Tenses: The Difference Between “Have Been” and “Has Been”

Complex tenses, more specifically the present perfect continuous tense, can be challenging to navigate. This tense is used to express action continuity or ongoing actions that started in the past and continue into the present. The present perfect continuous is formed by combining “have” or “has” with “been” and the ‘-ing’ form of the verb. Knowing when to use “have been” and “has been” is crucial for effective communication.

The choice between “have been” and “has been” depends on the subject pronoun in a sentence. “Have been” is used with plural subjects and first-person singular pronouns (I, we, you, and they), while “has been” is used with third-person singular pronouns (he, she, and it).

“I have been having trouble with my car.”

“She has been leading the project since January.”

Let’s explore some examples to clarify the difference between “have been” and “has been”:

Subject Have Been Has Been
I/We/You/They I have been studying for hours.
He/She/It He has been working late every night.

Consistently applying these rules is essential for maintaining a coherent perspective and avoiding confusion in communication. When it comes to action continuity, understanding the situations in which “have been” and “has been” are used can greatly improve your language precision.

By mastering the present perfect continuous tense and knowing when to use “have been” and “has been,” you can enhance your communication skills and ensure that your written and spoken English is accurate and engaging.

The Impact of Context on Choosing “Have” or “Has”

English grammar can be a complex subject, especially for those who are non-native speakers. Choosing the correct form of “have” or “has” may be challenging at times, but understanding the role of context can help guide your decision. In this section, we’ll discuss the roles of collective nouns and modal verb structures in contextual grammar usage, assisting you in determining the appropriate choice of “have” or “has.”

Collective nouns designate an entire group or collection of individuals, such as “team,” “family,” or “committee.” These nouns can take either “have” or “has” depending on the intended meaning. If the collective noun is regarded as a singular entity, “has” is appropriate. In contrast, if the focus is on the individuals within the group, “have” should be employed. Let’s examine two examples:

  1. The team has decided to go for a retreat.
  2. The team members have different opinions on the matter.

In the first instance, “team” functions as a singular unit and aligns with “has.” In the second example, “have” emphasizes the individual team members’ opinions and actions, reflecting the plural aspect of the collective noun.

Modal verbs, such as “should,” “would,” and “could,” affect the choice of “have” or “has” in a sentence. After modal verbs, “have” consistently appears, regardless of the subject. Check out these examples:

  1. She should have finished her tasks by now.
  2. They could have chosen a different path.
  3. He would have succeeded if he had tried harder.

As demonstrated, in all three instances, “have” follows the modal verb regardless of the subjects’ singularity or plurality.

In summary, considering the context and carefully examining collective nouns and modal verb structures in a sentence can significantly improve your grammar and help you determine when to use “have” or “has” appropriately. Keep practicing and applying these concepts, and you’ll become more adept at choosing the correct form with confidence.

Common Mistakes and Confusions: “Has” vs. “Had” and Others

Understanding the difference between “has” and “had” and using them correctly is crucial to avoiding common grammatical errors. While both of these words stem from the verb “to have,” they differ in their tense and application.

“Has” belongs to the present perfect tense and is used with third-person singular subjects, such as:

She has completed her project on time.

On the other hand, “had” is part of the past perfect tense, indicating actions completed before another event:

She had already finished her project when I arrived.

In addition to these distinctions, another common challenge is the accurate application of negative contractions including “hasn’t” (has not) and “haven’t” (have not). It is essential to adhere to the same plural and singular subject rules as their expanded forms. Consider the following examples:

  • He hasn’t finished his homework yet.
  • They haven’t arrived at the party.

Regularly confusing “has” and “had,” and using negative contractions incorrectly, can lead to misunderstandings and unclear communication. To improve your grammar skills and prevent such issues, keep these distinctions in mind and practice regularly.

By paying close attention to the context and subject-verb agreement rules, you can enhance your proficiency in the English language and avoid common grammatical mistakes.

Expert Tips to Remember the Correct Usage of Have and Has

Mastering the correct usage of “have” and “has” can significantly enhance your professional writing skills. Here are some grammar tips for using these verbs correctly and confidently. First, remember to pair “have” with I/we/you/they, while “has” should be used with he/she/it. This basic rule ensures that you maintain subject-verb agreement, a crucial aspect of English grammar.

When dealing with collective nouns, keep in mind that their usage can be more flexible. Depending on whether the collective noun refers to a unified entity or a collection of individuals, it can take either “have” or “has.” Additionally, when using modal verbs like “should,” “would,” and “could,” always follow them with “have,” irrespective of the subject.

In negative sentences and questions, it’s essential to use the correct contractions. Use “hasn’t” (has not) for singular subjects and “haven’t” (have not) for plural ones. Finally, remember that “had had” is grammatically correct for past perfect tense, and exercise caution with contractions to ensure your writing remains clear and easy to understand. By keeping these verb usage rules in mind, your grammar and overall writing skills will undoubtedly improve.