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    #1

    havn't

    One of teachers I know said, "British people say 'I haven't a car'" I couldn't believe it. Then I decided to come and ask you. Is it real?
    Previously I believed that it must be 'I don't have a car,' because 'have' is the main verb here.
    Thanks,

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    #2

    Re: havn't

    British people say all sorts of strange things.

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    #3

    Re: havn't

    I really mean it, is it real? Since all the time anyone said it before I considered it as a mistake, when she told me that British people say it I doubted it.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: havn't

    Quote Originally Posted by atabitaraf View Post
    One of the teachers I know said, "British people say 'I haven't a car'".
    I figured you were looking for a speaker of British English, but obviously that didn't stop SoothingDave.

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    #5

    Re: havn't

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I figured you were looking for a speaker of British English, but obviously that didn't stop SoothingDave.
    Why 'the'?

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: havn't

    Quote Originally Posted by atabitaraf View Post
    Why 'the'?
    This is both easy and hard. It's easy for me to see when the article ("the") is missing and should be there. It is hard for me to explain why. However, we do have some threads where that is discussed (in the FAQ section).


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    #7

    Re: havn't

    After all these years I've seen so many of them but however I agree with you that 'the' seems more natural here. I couldn't explain the reason either.

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    #8

    Re: havn't

    British people do say 'I haven't a car'.

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    #9

    Re: havn't

    You might hear in AmE someone say "I haven't a clue" if they are bewildered or completely ignorant about something. But that is more of a set phrase. We would not, in general, say "I haven't a ___," but "I don't have a ___."

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    #10

    Re: havn't

    I am not a teacher.

    Grammatically it is correct. However the phrase I don`t have a is prevalent.
    Last edited by V.Predoev; 11-Nov-2014 at 14:56.

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