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    #1

    have you a noun?

    When I last went to England I found a job at a construction site in Birmingham as a translator. One of my many bosses (I was an absolute zero in the hierarchy) came from Manchester. At first, I had problems understanding anything of what he said - I was fed on American accent all my life. I had to get used to him pronouncing 'rush' like 'bush'. But what struck me most was how he asked some questions:
    "Have you anything to do?"
    "Have you a smoke?"
    I knew it from books, but I didn't expect anyone would actually say that. Can you please tell me if it's possible to hear it anywhere in America/Australia and elsewhere in the UK?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: have you a noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    When I last went to England I found a job at a construction site in Birmingham as a translator. One of my many bosses (I was an absolute zero in the hierarchy) came from Manchester. At first, I had problems understanding anything of what he said - I was fed on American accent all my life. I had to get used to him pronouncing 'rush' like 'bush'. But what struck me most was how he asked some questions:
    "Have you anything to do?"
    "Have you a smoke?"
    I knew it from books, but I didn't expect anyone would actually say that. Can you please tell me if it's possible to hear it anywhere in America/Australia and elsewhere in the UK?
    "Have you anything to do?"
    "Have you a smoke?"
    I would say that this is a quite usual way to ask, in many parts of the UK.

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    #3

    Re: have you a noun?

    That's good to know. I was taught 'do you have' and 'have you got' are in use almost only.

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    #4

    Re: have you a noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    That's good to know. I was taught 'do you have' and 'have you got' are in use almost only.

    I was taught that 'do you have' and 'have you got' are almost the only ones (in use)(used). but a bit awkward

    I was taught that 'do you have' or 'have you got' are almost always used. And it is much more natural the one just above.
    2006

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    #5

    Re: have you a noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    When I last went to England I found a job at a construction site in Birmingham as a translator. One of my many bosses (I was an absolute zero in the hierarchy) came from Manchester. At first, I had problems understanding anything of what he said - I was fed on American accent all my life. I had to get used to him pronouncing 'rush' like 'bush'. But what struck me most was how he asked some questions:
    "Have you anything to do?"
    "Have you a smoke?"
    I knew it from books, but I didn't expect anyone would actually say that. Can you please tell me if it's possible to hear it anywhere in America/Australia and elsewhere in the UK?
    ***NOT A TEACHER***(1) Probably most Americans would ask, "Do you have anything to do?" If the speaker is being sarcastic (for example. the boss sees a worker sitting around reading a magazine), s/he would ask, "DON'T you have anything to do?" (2) Do you have a smoke/cigarette? Can you spare a cigarette? Thank you.

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    #6

    Re: have you a noun?

    But would anyone in the US say 'have you' without 'got' or instead of 'do you have'? Or would people look in a strange manner at me if I said that?


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    #7

    Re: have you a noun?

    I think Americans always use 'Do you have ... ?' I guess 'Have you ...?' is strictly British.


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    #8

    Re: have you a noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by pennyy View Post
    I think Americans always use 'Do you have ... ?' I guess 'Have you ...?' is strictly British.
    And even then, I'd still have a strange look on my face if someone asked me 'have you a ___.?'

    I've heard it used in a kind of mocking/derogatory way in writing: 'Have you no shame, woman?', 'Have you no brains, fool?' I've never heard anyone use it as a question like described. Perhaps it's stricly English?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: have you a noun?

    Have you any Grey Poupon?
    This was a line in a famous commercial when one limousine pulls up next to another and a well-bred voice coming from one limo asks the occupant of the other limo for this type of mustard. The implication was the rich, well-bred people enjoyed this type of mustard. I can't remember if the voice had a British accent or not, but I bet it did.

    In the US, if you said "Have you a pen?" no one would be confused about your meaning, but we wouldn't say it that way ourselves.
    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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    #10

    Re: have you a noun?

    Thank you all very much. It clears things up. But, digging the topic deeper, how's about localisation and usage intensity of 'do you have' and 'have you got'?

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