Who Has or Who Have – Which Is Correct?

Marcus Froland

So, you’re typing away, forming sentences that feel right in your mind. Suddenly, you hit a snag. The words “Who has” and “Who have” are staring back at you from the screen. Which one is it? It seems simple until you’re right there, second-guessing every grammar rule you’ve ever learned.

This moment happens to the best of us. We think we’ve got English in our pocket until it throws us a curveball. But don’t worry! Figuring out whether to use “has” or “have” after “who” isn’t as tough as it looks. The key lies in understanding the subject of your sentence. Sounds doable, right?

The main subject here is the correct use of “Who has” or “Who have.” The choice between these two depends on the noun that follows. If you’re talking about a singular noun or one person, use “Who has.” For example, “Who has the best score?” On the other hand, when referring to more than one person or a plural noun, “Who have” is correct. An example would be, “Who have been invited to the party?” Remember, it’s all about whether you’re discussing one person or many. So, picking the right form helps your sentence sound proper and clear.

Understanding the Basics of Has vs Have

Both “has” and “have” are forms of the irregular verb “to have,” which does not adhere to standard verb conjugation patterns. This deviation makes distinguishing between the two slightly more intricate. “Has” is associated with third-person singular subjects, namely the pronouns “he,” “she,” and “it.” On the contrary, “have” is suitable for all other instances, including first person (“I,” “we”), second person (“you”), and third person plural (“they”). Although each verb indicates current possession, choosing the correct form depends on the subject’s number and person in the sentence.

“Has” is for third person singular subjects, while “have” covers first and second person subjects and third person plural subjects.

To better grasp the concept of when to use “has” or “have,” consider the following points:

  1. Third Person Singular: Employ “has” when the subject is “he,” “she,” or “it.” Example: “She has a key.”
  2. First Person Singular and Plural: Utilize “have” when the subject is “I” or “we.” Example: “I have a plan.”
  3. Second Person Singular and Plural: Apply “have” when the subject is “you.” Example: “You have a choice.”
  4. Third Person Plural: Opt for “have” when the subject is “they.” Example: “They have a meeting.”

Understanding the basic rules of using “has” and “have” is essential for mastering proper grammar and knowing when to apply each term in your writing and speech. As you become more familiar with these rules, you’ll develop a more refined command of the English language and create cohesive, grammatically correct sentences.

The Conjugation of ‘To Have’: When to Use ‘Has’

Using the correct form of “has” and “have” is vital for maintaining proper grammar in both spoken and written English. This section will outline the use of “has” specifically in relation to third-person singular subjects and discuss some common misconceptions and examples to provide a better understanding.

The Role of Third-Person Singular in Grammar

In English grammar, third person singular subjects include “he,” “she,” and “it,” as well as proper nouns that signify a single person or entity. The verb “to have,” when conjugated with this type of subject, becomes “has.” This form ensures proper subject-verb agreement for third person singular subjects in the present tense.

Common Examples and Misconceptions

Understanding the correct use of “has” becomes crucial when deciding between “has” and “have” in sentences involving third person singular subjects.

  1. She has a new job – In this sentence, the subject “she” is third person singular, so “has” is the appropriate form.
  2. The computer has a virus – Despite not using a direct pronoun, the noun “computer” still represents a singular entity, warranting the use of “has.”
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Misconceptions typically arise when using a person’s name or a description within the sentence. Despite not utilizing a pronoun directly, these forms of sentences still require “has” as the proper form to align with third person singular usage.

  • Michael has a question – The name “Michael” is shorthand for “he,” so “has” should be used.
  • The tallest building in the city has fifty floors – Though the subject uses a description, it still refers to a singular entity, making “has” the correct choice.

By examining these common examples and addressing misconceptions, you can better understand when and how to use “has” in sentences involving third person singular subjects and form a stronger foundation in English grammar.

‘Have’ Decoded: Appropriate Usage in Sentences

Mastering the use of “have” is essential for accurately conveying meaning and demonstrating proper grammar in English. It helps to understand when and why “have” is the correct form to use in various sentence structures. In this section, we will explore the different contexts in which the verb “have” should be selected and provide examples to illustrate its appropriate usage.

First and Second Person Pronouns: “Have” is the appropriate form to use when creating sentences with first person singular (“I”) and both first and second person plural pronouns (“we,” “you”). Examples include:

  • “I have a cat.”
  • “We have a problem.”
  • “You have options.”

Third Person Plural Pronouns: When referencing multiple entities using third person plural pronouns, the verb “have” should be used. A few examples to illustrate this case are:

  1. “They have dogs.”
  2. “The children have toys.”
  3. “The guests have arrived.”

Direct Address: When you are speaking to someone directly or referring to their possessions or experiences, “have” is the correct choice. For example:

“Do you have any questions?”
“You have a beautiful garden.”
“We have shared many memories together.”

Mixed Subjects: In certain sentences, multiple subjects may be involved, necessitating the use of “have.” Consider these examples:

  • “She and I have a secret.”
  • “Cats and dogs have different dietary needs.”
  • “You and your friend have a lot in common.”

Remembering these guidelines will help to ensure that your use of “have” is accurate and effective in conveying the intended meaning. Practice using “have” in a variety of sentence structures to reinforce your understanding and increase your confidence in its application.

Real-World Applications: ‘Has’ and ‘Have’ in Literature

In literature, “has” and “have” are employed to reflect possession and existence within diverse narrative contexts. Notable examples from works by authors such as Patrick Rothfuss, Roald Dahl, and V.E. Schwab demonstrate the usage of “has” in sentences involving singular subjects, while citations from Jane Austen, Chuck Palahniuk, and Nicholas Sparks illustrate instances of “have” accommodating plural subjects or first and second person pronouns. These literary examples provide insight into the practical application and stylistic use of these verbs within the English language.

“The silence of the Library’s subterranean archives had weight. It was a far-reaching emptiness, like a dark ocean of black ink.”
—Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

In this example, Rothfuss uses “had,” the past tense of “has,” to express existence within a singular subject – the silence of the Library’s subterranean archives. Likewise, Roald Dahl and V.E. Schwab employ “has” in their writing when discussing singular subjects:

“He sontinued to stroll into the centre of the wood, plucking sugar cubes off the trees and popping them into his bucket. All the while he was watching the squirrels and trying to count them. He had seen seven so far.”
—Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

“Luc’s apartment ruins had a kind of quiet, mournful beauty.”
—V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic

Conversely, Jane Austen, Chuck Palahniuk, and Nicholas Sparks utilize “have” to accommodate plural subjects or first and second person pronouns:

“The ladies of Longbourn soon waited on those of Netherfield. The visit was soon returned in due form. Miss Bennet’s pleasing manners grew on the goodwill of Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley; and though the mother was found to be intolerable, and the younger sisters not worth speaking to, a wish of being better acquainted with them was expressed towards the two eldest.”
—Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“You have a class of young strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something.”
—Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

“I don’t know that we’ll ever love like we did before, but we’ve got a history together like no one else.”
—Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

  1. Patrick Rothfuss: “The silence of the Library’s subterranean archives had weight.” – has
  2. Roald Dahl: “He had seen seven so far.” – has
  3. V.E. Schwab: “Luc’s apartment ruins had a kind of quiet, mournful beauty.” – has
  4. Jane Austen: “The ladies of Longbourn soon waited on those of Netherfield.” – have
  5. Chuck Palahniuk: “You have a class of young strong men and women.” – have
  6. Nicholas Sparks: “I don’t know that we’ll ever love like we did before.” – have

The stylistic choices made by these authors showcase just how versatile the English language is and how “has” and “have” can be integrated within a narrative. As seen in these examples, understanding the proper use of “has” and “have” is fundamental to producing authentic and engaging content in literature.

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Special Cases: Deciphering ‘Who Has’ vs ‘Who Have’

In certain cases, differentiating between “who has” and “who have” can be quite challenging. These special cases often hinge on understanding the grammatical rules for singular and plural contexts. It is crucial to correctly identify the subject associated with “who” as either singular or plural to use the appropriate form of the verb “to have.”

Grammatical Rules for Singular and Plural Contexts

In general, “who has” should be used when referring to a singular noun or pronoun, while “who have” is applicable to plural nouns or pronouns. By identifying whether the noun or pronoun that “who” is associated with is singular or plural, one can determine the correct use of “has” or “have” in a sentence.

“I’m looking for a woman who has a cute corgi puppy.”

“I’m looking for three men who have betrayed my family.”

In the first example, the sentence is linked to a singular subject—a woman with a corgi puppy. Therefore, the appropriate term to use is “who has.” On the other hand, the second example involves a plural subject—three men who carried out betrayal. In this case, “who have” is the correct choice.

Below is a table showing common examples of sentences using both “who has” and “who have” in accordance with the grammatical rules for singular and plural contexts:

Singular Plural
He is the author who has written many bestsellers. They are the students who have completed their assignments.
Mary is the girl who has a yellow umbrella. Scientists who have contributed to this discovery won the award.
That’s the restaurant who has the best pizza in town. These are the companies who have expanded their operations overseas.

By carefully considering the number and the person of the subject associated with “who,” one can confidently decide whether “who has” or “who have” is most appropriate in each context. Mastering these special cases enhances the overall quality of one’s writing and speaking in the English language.

Tackling ‘There Has’ Versus ‘There Have’

This part goes over the differences between “there has” and “there have,” which will help you get better at subject-verb agreement when using these two phrases. The crucial factor in choosing the right form lies in the subject that follows “there,” as this determines the use of either “has” or “have.”

Understanding Subject-Verb Agreement

When it comes to “there has” and “there have,” subject-verb agreement is necessary. The expression “there has” is applied when dealing with a singular subject. In contrast, the expression “there have” is appropriate for plural subjects. To illustrate this concept, let’s look at a couple of examples:

  • There has been an accident.
  • There have been accidents.
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In the first example, the use of “has” is due to the singular subject “an accident.” Conversely, “have” is utilized in the second example because “accidents” is plural. Both instances exemplify the importance of subject-verb agreement in selecting the correct form.

Remember: “There has” is for singular subjects, while “there have” is for plural subjects.

Through proper subject-verb agreement with “there has” and “there have,” you can maintain grammatical accuracy in your writing. Always consider the subject following “there” to determine the appropriate form to use and ensure a clear, well-structured sentence.

Mastering Compound Verbs with Has and Have

Understanding how to use “has” and “have” with other verbs is crucial for crafting complex sentences and expanding your grammatical repertoire. When combined with other verbs, “has” and “have” form compound verbs that imply possibilities or describe completed actions. By mastering these constructions, you can create intricate tense structures such as the present perfect tense.

When forming compound verbs, “has” works with singular third person subjects, while “have” is appropriate for first and second person, as well as third person plural subjects. Let’s explore some examples to better understand these constructions.

“You have to call me.”

“He has to do his homework.”

In the examples above, “have” and “has” are used with “to” followed by another verb, indicating a sense of necessity or possibility. These compound verb constructions showcase the versatility of “has” and “have” when it comes to forming complex sentences.

“We have waited for hours.”

“She has learned.”

In these sentences, “has” and “have” are followed by past participles, forming the present perfect tense. These examples demonstrate the use of compound verbs to describe completed actions.

  1. Present perfect tense: I have visited the museum.
  2. Necessity or possibility: You have to complete the assignment.

As you can see, when “has” and “have” are used in conjunction with other verbs, they create versatile constructions that add depth and nuance to your writing. By mastering these compound verb forms, you can more effectively communicate a wide range of meanings to your readers, from possibilities to completed actions.

Grammar Essentials: Recap and Common Mistakes to Avoid

In summary, it is essential to distinguish between “has” and “have” when expressing possession or existence. To reiterate, use “has” for singular third person subjects, including names and singular nouns. Reserve “have” for plural nouns, first person pronouns (both singular “I” and plural “we”), second person pronoun “you” (both singular and plural), and third person plural “they.” Adhering to these guidelines ensures proper subject-verb agreement and accuracy in your writing.

Common mistakes occur when the rules of subject-verb agreement are not observed, leading to grammatical errors such as mismatching the verb with the subject’s number and person. By consistently applying the correct verb form, you can maintain an authentic and professional tone in your writing. Keep in mind that “has” is singular, while “have” is plural or refers to I/you.

Examples from literature, hints for special cases, and the use of compound verbs with “has” and “have” showcase the versatility and importance of these irregular verbs. By mastering the appropriate use of “has” and “have,” you can effectively communicate with a clear and concise style. Recognizing the subtle differences in verb forms and utilizing them correctly is essential for polished and professional writing.

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