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Thread: I have a baby.

  1. #1
    yamyam is offline Member
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    Default I have a baby.

    Hello, teachers.

    Yesterday, our teacher of English said the following:

    "You can use the phrase 'I have a baby' only if you are wives. You have to say 'we have a baby' if you are husbands."

    Is that so? Is it wrong for a husband to say "I have a baby" after his baby is born?

    Is "to have a baby" quite different from "to have a son, a daughter, a brother, etc."?

    Would you explain this to me?

    Thank you very much in advance for your help.

    yam.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: I have a baby.

    A father can certainly say "I have a baby." What he can't say is "I had a baby."

  3. #3
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I have a baby.

    NOT A TEACHER

    If I may add another bit of information, "have a baby" according to Longman, can also mean "give birth to a baby", see baby - Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online. A man cannot give birth to a baby, so only a woman could say, 'I've had a baby'.

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    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: I have a baby.

    Quote Originally Posted by yamyam View Post
    Hello, teachers.

    Yesterday, our teacher of English said the following:

    "You can use the phrase 'I have a baby' only if you are wives. You have to say 'we have a baby' if you are husbands."

    Is that so? Is it wrong for a husband to say "I have a baby" after his baby is born?

    Is "to have a baby" quite different from "to have a son, a daughter, a brother, etc."?

    Would you explain this to me?

    Thank you very much in advance for your help.

    yam.
    If a male would say to me, "I have a baby", first, it would be someone with whom I was not acquainted. Otherwise I would have known that he was the father of a child. Second, I would infer that he was a single parent or perhaps separated from the woman who bore the baby, but not knowing who had actual custody. If the man is married, I would expect him to say, as your teacher stated, "we have a baby" or "my wife (or "significant other") and I have a baby.
    Last edited by billmcd; 06-Aug-2012 at 18:37.

  5. #5
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I have a baby.

    There's nothing grammatically or semantically wrong with a man saying "I have a baby". Since single fathers taking care of infants are so rare, however, at least in the country I live in, it's certainly an odd expression for a man to use.

    Similarly "I (have) had a baby" would just mean that the man (has) impregnated a woman. Again, it would be a rare thing to say just because it would not accord with the societal and family roles expected of a man.

  6. #6
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I have a baby.

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post

    Similarly "I (have) had a baby" would just mean that the man (has) impregnated a woman. Again, it would be a rare thing to say just because it would not accord with the societal and family roles expected of a man.
    But in that case, if a man says, 'I (have) had a baby', it must mean more than that, because a lot of pregnancies end up in an abortion. The woman must have actually given birth to a baby.

    Otherwise, I don't get how, 'I (have) had a baby' can mean 'I (have) impreganted a woman'.

  7. #7
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I have a baby.

    Well, yes, impregnated a woman who then carried the pregnancy to term and gave birth. Of course.

  8. #8
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: I have a baby.

    In real life, men will use "we had" to mean "a baby was born to us."

    Let's say a vendor calls the office and remarks to Anne (a woman) that he hasn't heard her voice in a while. "Oh yes," says Anne, "I had a baby, and I'm just now returning to work."

    Let's say the vendor calls the office and remarks to Peter (a man) that he hasn't heard in voice in a while. "Yes," says Peter, "my wife had a baby OR my wife and I had a baby so I've been spending a few weeks at home with them."

    People might say that the birth process something that applies only to the woman, but again, in real life, the man will say "we" had a baby.

    Another example - a man muses out loud: Let's see, when was that? Well, we lived in that little house on Elm until Emily was born, but I know we moved to Madison just after was had Nora. Since this happened when we lived on Elm and Nora was born in 2004, and Emily was definitely there, I'd say it was 2003 at the latest, and no sooner than 2001.

    On the other hand, let's say you're at work and a colleague you don't know very well hangs up after a frustrating call with his teen. If she rolls her eyes and says "Kids! Do you have any?" whether you are male or female, as long as you are with your partner still (you are still a couple) you would probably say "Yes, we have a baby - so no calls like that yet." You would say "I" if you're female and "we" if you're male. On the other hand, if you are not still a couple, whether you are male or female, you would say "Yes, I have a baby, but..."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  9. #9
    yamyam is offline Member
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    Default Re: I have a baby.

    Thank you very much for the instructions.
    It depends on the situation where a male is whether he can use the expression or not, right?

    Thanks again,

    yam.

  10. #10
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: I have a baby.

    Since you posted only one minute after I did, I don't think you read my post. See if that helps.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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