English Grammar Lesson: Has/had/have

Welcome, language enthusiasts! Today, we embark on a fascinating journey. We’ll explore a verb that students often struggle with: “to have”. More precisely, we’ll look at “has/had/have” – three small words with immense power in the English language.

Whether you’re an English learner or an aspiring ESL teacher, this blog article will equip you with the knowledge and skills to use these verbs with confidence. Let’s dive in!

For a more in-depth lesson on this topic, check out our free grammar course: Understanding The Basics: Has, Have or Has? which can be found on our course page.

Understanding the Basics

First things first, let’s clarify what “has/had/have” actually means.

These verbs are part of the “to have” family and serve multiple purposes in English grammar. They express possession or ownership, form tenses, and are used in interrogative sentences. Which is just a fancy way of saying they are used to form questions.

Possession and Ownership

In their simplest form, “has”, “had” and “have” convey possession or ownership of something.

For instance, “She has a new car” or “They have a beautiful house.”

Remember, “has” is used with singular subjects like he/she/it, and singular nouns; while “have” is used with plural subjects like we/you/they and plural nouns. “Have” is also used with the first person singular (“I”) as well.

For example; I have many free grammar courses on my website.

Present Perfect Tense

“Has/have” also plays a crucial role in the present perfect tense. This tense indicates actions or events that started in the past and have a connection to the present.

For example, “I have studied English for five years” or “She has lived in this city since 2010.”

The structure is “subject + has/have + past participle.”

Past Tense

In the past tense, we use “had” to indicate possession or ownership in the past.

Consider phrases like “He had a dog when he was a child” or “They had a fantastic vacation last year.” Simple and effective!

Past Perfect Tense

The verb “to have” isn’t limited to the present and past tenses alone. In the past perfect tense, we use “had” to describe actions or events that occurred before another past event.

For example, “I had finished my work before the deadline” or “She had already left when I arrived.”

This tense structure is “subject + had + past participle.”

Interrogative Sentences

Need to ask a question using “has/have”? It’s simple! Just invert the subject and verb to form the interrogative sentence.

For instance, “Have you finished your homework?” or “Has she seen that movie?”

Putting It Into Practice

Now that you have a solid foundation, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Here are a few practical examples to reinforce your understanding:

  1. She _____ a lovely garden in her backyard. (has)
  2. We _____ a great time at the party last night. (had)
  3. Have you _____ your breakfast yet? (had)
  4. They _____ the best seats in the theater. (have)
  5. I _____ already sent the email. (have)

Remember, practice makes perfect! Challenge yourself by creating your own sentences and experimenting with different tenses and question forms.


Congratulations on making it through our deep dive into the world of “has/had/have”! By now, you’ve acquired the essential knowledge needed to wield these verbs with confidence.

From expressing possession to forming tenses and crafting interrogative sentences, the power of “has/had/have” is now within your grasp.

Embrace this newfound understanding and continue to explore the rich and diverse world of English grammar.

Remember for a more in-depth lesson on this topic, check out our free grammar course: Understanding The Basics: Has, Have or Has? which can be found on our course page.

Happy learning, and remember, you’ve got this!

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