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Common mistakes in tenses: When to use had, have and has?

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  • We all learn English and use it in our day to day life. The most important part of the language is grammar. Without it, it’s impossible to imagine speaking in English correctly and fluently.
  • Tenses are an important concept in grammar. We use them to speak about the time related incidences as the concept of tenses is based on time. Specific forms  of the verbs are used to denote the various timelines when the event has occurred.  They include past, present and future tense. But when it comes to using had, have and has we all get stuck.

    Today, let’s learn when to use had, have and has.

    Learn

    Present tense:


    In present tense, when there is I, you, we and they in a sentence, we use have.

    I - have
    you - have
    we - have
    they - have

    Examples:

    - I have a big car.

    - Don’t you have a bag?
    - We’ll have ice cream after dinner.
    - They have lots of money.

    Whereas when there is he, she, it, proper name and title in a sentence, we use has. He, she, it are singular so we use has.

    He – has
    she – has
    it – has
    Proper name – has
    Title - has

    Examples:

    - He has a big car.

    - She has a cat.
    - It has got new features.
    - Rahul has many friends.
    - “Bheegi Bhilli”, a famous show, has attracted a lot of attention these days.

    Resuming

    Past tense (simple)

    Past tense is used to describe a completed action. So when a sentence has I, you, we, they, he, she, it, proper name and title, we use had.

    I – had
    we – had
    they – had
    he – had
    she – had
    it – had
    Proper name – had
    Title – had

    Examples:

    - I had my food.

    - You had lunch?
    - They had their meal.
    - He had a fantastic weekend.
    - She had appeared for the exam.
    - It had my favorite toppings.
    - Vandana had a bad cold last week.
    - Drishyam had a whimsical opening.

    The above enlightenments must have cleared your confusion. Check your knowledge with the below tests:

    1. She doesn't _____ to stand there, tell her to go away.
    2. She ___ to stay there.
    3. Sachin _____ to pay a parking fine yesterday.
    4. Yesterday I didn't have money I _____ to go to the bank.
    5. He ____ to stay there.

    Answers: 1. Have 2. Has 3. Had 4. Had 5. Has

    Had, have and has are used in our daily conversations so it is important to clear the basics. Using wrong tense can led to confusion so it’s better to join a Spoken English course and improve English communications.

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-By Shailja Varma

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