Grammar tips – Have something vs Do have something

Here the distinction between two usages is clarified. First situation deals with the position at the moment or now and Second position deals with reference to the general position.

  • I haven’t any money. ( by this you mean to say that you have no money right now.  Example, you are meeting a friend of yours  on the way, and he is in need of some money now.)
  • I don’t have any money. (This doesn’t mean a period ‘right now’.  Example, he likes to buy a car, but his financial position is not favourable to satisfy his desire)
  • Have you any brothers or sisters? (correct)
  • Do you have any brothers or sisters? (incorrect)
  • Have you indigestion? (  maybe , this is asked by a doctor with specific reference to the present time (now), not as a general case.
  • Do you have indigestion? ( a doctor may require this type of clarification whether generally you suffer from indigestion, not just related to the present position.)
  • Have you much homework to do? ( means right now or presently)
  • Do you have much homework to do? (means not today, but generally)
  • He hasn’t any secretary. ( right now he hasn’t any secretary, maybe he might have had a secretary earlier)
  • He doesn’t have a secretary. (He has no secretary either in the past or at present to assist him)

Note:- but , in the past tense the distinction is not so definite or so important.


  • I hadn’t enough money to pay the bill.  OR –  I didn’t have enough money to pay the bill.
  • Had you any difficulty in finding the house?  OR  –  Did you have any difficulty in finding the house?

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