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  1. #1
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    "do you have" or "have you"

    How often do you have a bath?

    Yes, that might seem a bit strange sentence, but it's only an example. And I'm afraid the question is also going to be strange. I can't help it; it's in my head, and here it is. Is it possible to ask the example question this way: How often have you a bath?

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: "do you have" or "have you"

    We use inversion to form questions when to have is an auxiliary verb (and also with other auxiliaries): Have you had a bath? Although some native speakers sometimes use inversion in other questions with to have,* it's safest for learners not to do it.

    *I'm pretty sure this only happens when "to have" means "to possess", as in Have you a pen?​ This is so foreign to my variety of English that I really can't be sure.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: "do you have" or "have you"

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    *I'm pretty sure this only happens when "to have" means "to possess", as in Have you a pen?​ This is so foreign to my variety of English that I really can't be sure.
    It occurs in BrE, but I only hear it used by older speakers. I doubt that many younger speakers use the form- it's on its way out. It's foreign to me and I am a few years younger than Piscean, who says he might just about say it. I think some of my mother's posh friends might still use it. It sounds like Lady Bracknell to me, though she would never talk about something as unmentionable as a bath.

  4. #4
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: "do you have" or "have you"

    Do you have a pen?
    Have you got a pen?


    Do these question structures mean the same when talking about posessions? Which is more common and sounds more natural to you? Or both okay?

    There are expressions which can't be said with "have you got" structure: "have breakfast" - "do you have breakfast", "have a bath" - "do you have a bath" (I'm sorry for the latter example; I just have it in my grammar book and it's constantly coming to mind ), etc... There is a list of similar expressions in the mentioned book, and some of them are confusing me. For instance, there are "have a dream" and "have an experience" among them. They both sound posessive to my foreign ear. Do you ever say questions with them this way: "Have you got a dream/ an experience"? Or is the only possible option "do you have..."?
    Last edited by Barb_D; 12-Sep-2017 at 21:08.

  5. #5
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: "do you have" or "have you"

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneD View Post
    Do you have a pen?
    Have you got a pen?


    Do these question structures mean the same when talking about possessions? Which is more common and sounds more natural to you? Or both okay?
    In American English, they are both fine and I use either without thinking about it.
    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.

  6. #6
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: "do you have" or "have you"

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneD View Post
    There are expressions which can't be said with "have you got" structure: "have breakfast" - "do you have breakfast", "have a bath" - "do you have a bath" (I'm sorry for the latter example; I just have it in my grammar book and it's constantly coming to mind ), etc... There is a list of similar expressions in the mentioned book, and some of them are confusing me. For instance, there are "have a dream" and "have an experience" among them. They both sound posessive to my foreign ear. Do you ever say questions with them this way: "Have you got a dream/ an experience"? Or is the only possible option "do you have..."?
    If it's a physical thing or a (potentially) transient condition, either have or have got works. I've got a Motorola phone. I've got a nasty cold. He's got a million dollars he doesn't know what to do with. You could possibly use have got with a dream in the case where "dream" means ambition: ​I've got a dream - to build the world's fastest steamroller.
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  7. #7
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
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    Re: "do you have" or "have you"

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    You could possibly use have got with a dream in the case where "dream" means ambition: ​I've got a dream - to build the world's fastest steamroller.
    That's exactly how I saw the meaning of "have a dream". Maybe because this phrase was next to "have an experience" which I perceive in the same way (as potentially transient condition). Now I guess that the true meaning of "have a dream" there was seeing a dream. Is it so or do I again get something wrong?
    Last edited by GeneD; 13-Sep-2017 at 08:34. Reason: error

  8. #8
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: "do you have" or "have you"

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneD View Post
    Do you have a pen?
    Have you got a pen?
    In BrE, both are fine, though the second is the more common form.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 13-Sep-2017 at 08:31. Reason: Fixing typo

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