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  1. #1
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Default Have the Americans a clue too?

    Hi,

    This is a question addressed to the speakers of American English within the context of my thread entitled Have you a clue? (Have you got.../Do you ...?).

    There I asked the British speakers about the usage of the main verb have in questions and negatives as follows:
    Have you a brother? I havenīt a brother.

    I wonder if you have ever in any regional or social variety (dialect/sociolect) of American English heard American native speakers couching questions or negatives according to the above pattern.

    I should very much appreciate your experience.

    Hucky

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Have the Americans a clue too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    Hi,

    This is a question addressed to the speakers of American English within the context of my thread entitled Have you a clue? (Have you got.../Do you ...?).

    There I asked the British speakers about the usage of the main verb have in questions and negatives as follows:
    Have you a brother? I havenīt a brother.

    I wonder if you have ever in any regional or social variety (dialect/sociolect) of American English heard American native speakers couching questions or negatives according to the above pattern.

    I should very much appreciate your experience.

    Hucky
    I think you would hear the majority of AmE speakers ask "Do you have a brother?" and "No, I don't" or " No, I don't have a brother".

  3. #3
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    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Have the Americans a clue too?

    I think the more common form by far in AmE is "do you have any" plural rather than "do you have a" singular.

  4. #4
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Default Re: Have the Americans a clue too?

    Dear billmcd and dear probus,

    First of all, best thanks!

    May I conclude from what you have written that there do exist patterns of asking a question like 1) have you got any ...? and 2) have you any ...? in AEalthough they represent by far the minority of speakers compared with do you have any...? Well,I knew that this is to some extent trueof the got version (no. 1), but can you really encounter native American speakers who use the construction under no. 2?Iīm really curious to see what you will say.

    Hucky

  5. #5
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Have the Americans a clue too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    Dear billmcd and dear probus,

    First of all, best thanks!

    May I conclude from what you have written that there do exist patterns of asking a question like 1) have you got any ...? and 2) have you any ...? in AEalthough they represent by far the minority of speakers compared with do you have any...? Well,I knew that this is to some extent trueof the got version (no. 1), but can you really encounter native American speakers who use the construction under no. 2?Iīm really curious to see what you will say.

    Hucky
    In direct response to your question about construction #2, not many.

  6. #6
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    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Have the Americans a clue too?

    I think have you got any... and do you have any... areabout equally common, and agree with billmcd that have you any... is pretty rare.

  7. #7
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Have the Americans a clue too?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    I think the more common form by far in AmE is "do you have any" plural rather than "do you have a" singular.
    Well, it depends entirely on context and whether the questioner wants to determine if the person has one brother or more than one brother. My response to Hucky was based on his reference to one brother.

  8. #8
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Default Re: Have the Americans a clue too?

    Dear billmcd and dear probus,

    Your responses have been quite interesting to me. I was not surprised to hear that the have you-form is very rare, but that the do you have-version and the have you got-version are almost equally common in the US. I would have expected the former to be much more in use. Well, we live and learn. But what tinge do the have you-speakers have? Are they considered illiterates without any command of grammar? Or is their peculiarity just as accepted as the other two variants?

    Hucky

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Have the Americans a clue too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    Dear billmcd and dear probus,

    But what tinge do the have you-speakers have? Are they considered illiterates without any command of grammar? Or is their peculiarity just as accepted as the other two variants?

    Hucky
    Certainly they are not illiterate or ignorant of grammar. Both "have you a brother?" and "have you any brothers?" are grammatically correct. They are just much less used over here.

    To my ear, a person using the have you form might be suspected of being a foreigner, or possibly snobbish or pedantic. That is, of course when the question is whether a person possesses something.

    "Have you ever tried sushi?" and "Have you visited Switzerland?" are normal and commonplace.

  10. #10
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Default Re: Have the Americans a clue too?

    Dear probus,

    Now the whole matter is getting more and more interesting. Would you suspect that someone using the have you-form is British or someone who is at least influenced by the British vernacular? Could that because of its Britishness perhaps be the reason why you perceive it to be snobbish or pedantic? Do Americans in general tend to consider the British in linguistic terms to be less lax? And what about the New England states, havenīt they preserved a lot of typical British traits as e.g. the have you-form (I donīt mean as in in the present perfect)?

    Greetings

    Hucky

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