Hasn’t VS. Doesn’t Have (PDF download)

Hasn’t VS. Doesn’t have

I was teaching a private lesson here in Japan. One of my students was describing a situation with a friend. She had a question about Hasn’t VS. Doesn’t Have English grammar:

“He hasn’t any money.” Or “He doesn’t have any money.” 

Video at the end of this post!

My student wanted to know which sentence is correct. This is a great question, and I wrote this blog post to give a complete and easy to understand answer to share with all of you.

  • If HAVE/HAS is the main verb in your sentence, you need to use the negative form of the auxiliary verb DO/DOES to make your sentence negative. (DON’T/DOESN’T)
    • I don’t have
  • If HAVE/HAS is an auxiliary verb that supports another verb in your sentence, you will use HAVEN’T/HASN’T to make the negative.
    • I haven’t been
Hasn't VS. Doesn't have
English Grammar

I’ll explain the difference between Hasn’t and Doesn’t have with some simple examples.

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The verb HAVE is written HAS for the third person singular. Third-person singular definition from Your Dictionary dot com.

third-person-singular. (grammar) The form of a verb used (in English and other languages) with singular nouns and with the pronouns he, she, it and one (their equivalents in other languages). “Is” is the third-person singular of “to be”. 

https://www.yourdictionary.com/third-person-singular

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries has 33 uses for the verb HAVE! The #1 definition and the one we will focus on in this post is:

to own, hold or possess something 

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/have_1?q=have

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There are 2 ways to use the verb “have” in English. 

Have is the main verb 

One way to use HAVE is as the main verb in a sentence. The verb is showing who or what owns, holds or possesses something.

I have time on Wednesday.
I will possess time on Wednesday. To have time means to be available, to be free.

Mike has the project files.
Mike holds the project files now.

Hasn't VS. Doesn't have
I have time on Wednesday.

*Note – this meaning of HAVE is not used in the progressive tense.

I’m having time on Wednesday. is incorrect.

Some other meanings of HAVE can be used in the progressive tense.

  • to eat, drink or smoke something

“I’m having dinner with Janice tomorrow.”

The third-person-singular is not used in the progressive tense.

Bill is hasing some time on Wednesday. is incorrect.

More examples

We have a new puppy, his name is Rosco.

Linda has a Master’s degree in physics from the University of Toronto.

Have as an auxiliary verb 

Another way we can use HAVE is as an auxiliary (helper) verb. As an auxiliary verb, it is used with the past participle to form perfect tenses

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/have_2

Please look at these 2 examples:

I’ve been to Mexico twice.

Has anyone seen Karen today?

Hasn't VS. Doesn't have
I've been to Mexico.

Have is the auxiliary verb in these sentences. The main verbs are been (the past participle of the verb to be) and seen (the past participle of the verb to see).

Perfect tense grammar

More examples

Have you tried that new cafe on Front street yet? I hear it’s really good. (Tried is the past participle of the verb to try)

I have just eaten lunch so I’m not hungry. (Eaten is the past participle of the verb to eat).

Hasn’t VS. Doesn’t have

Have is the main verb – Negative

When have is the main verb in a sentence we will use the verb do/does as an auxiliary verb for the negative. (don’t/doesn’t)

Let’s look at the negative form of our first 2 example sentences:

“I don’t have time tomorrow.”

“Mike doesn’t have the project files anymore. He gave them to Kevin.”

Have is the main verb in both of these sentences.

More examples

“I don’t have any pets.”

“Linda doesn’t have a Ph.D.”

Hasn’t VS. Doesn’t have

Have is the auxiliary verb – Negative

When have is the auxiliary verb in a sentence we will use its negative form (haven’t/hasn’t) before the past participle of the main verb.

Let’s look at the negative form of our other 2 example sentences:

“I have been to Mexico but I haven’t been to Australia yet.”

Hasn’t anyone seen Karen today?”

Have is the auxiliary verb in these sentences.

More examples

“If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it.”

“It’s only 4:30 so Kelly probably hasn’t left work yet.” (Left is the past participle of the verb to leave).

“Mike hasn’t called me yet.” (Called is the past participle of the verb to call).

 Do you remember my student’s question?

He hasn’t any money.
OR
He doesn’t have any money. 

Which is correct?

Hasn't VS. Doesn't have.
No money.

To have money means to hold or possess money. This is the main verb in our sentence. Remember…

When have is the main verb in a sentence we will use the verb do/does as an auxiliary verb for the negative. (don’t/doesn’t)

He doesn’t have any money is correct!

More examples

A: Is Brad coming to the party?

B: Unfortunately no. He doesn’t have time this weekend.

*Got can also be used in casual English to mean have. (Especially in North America)

Got is often used with have/\has as an auxiliary form.

He hasn’t got time.

I’ve got time.

She’s got money.

We haven’t got any money.

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Conclusion Hasn’t VS. Doesn’t have

If HAVE/HAS is the main verb in your sentence, you need to use the auxiliary verb DO/DOES to make the negative form.

If HAVE/HAS is an auxiliary verb that supports another verb in your sentence, you will use HAVEN’T/HASN’T to make the negative.

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