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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Question I have not got a clue

    May I ask why it is possible, as mentioned in the Headway, to use I HAVN`T A CLUE, instead of I haven`t got a clue or I don`t have a clue. Thank you for the answer. Tomorrow I should be able to explain it to the students.

    Best regards from Dita


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #2

    Re: I have not got a clue

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    May I ask why it is possible, as mentioned in the Headway, to use I HAVN`T A CLUE, instead of I haven`t got a clue or I don`t have a clue. Thank you for the answer. Tomorrow I should be able to explain it to the students.

    Best regards from Dita
    I'm really not sure, Dita. And if I don't know the reason [maybe someone else will/can come up with something] after a long life of English usage and a long career teaching and studying English, how important can it be that your students know the reason?

    I would just tell your students that it's not the normal neutral way but that we have to have some different ways to state things to express different nuances. Possibly it's an older form that has fallen into disuse.

    For language acquisition "knowing about" language isn't as important as "knowing how to do" language.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #3

    Re: I have not got a clue

    Because it is the preferable way to express this.
    'not got' = do not have
    so, I haven't got a clue = I have do not have a clue, or, I have not have a clue.
    The alternative is to say, "I got no clue." !!

  2. banderas's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 1,512
    #4

    Re: I have not got a clue

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    May I ask why it is possible, as mentioned in the Headway, to use I HAVN`T A CLUE, instead of I haven`t got a clue or I don`t have a clue. Thank you for the answer. Tomorrow I should be able to explain it to the students.

    Best regards from Dita
    "not to have a clue" is an idiom. So we say I haven't a clue. The "not" makes the difference. If you use the expression in a strictly idiomatic way, you say:
    I haven't a clue.

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