Tag Archives: had

have/has/had in use

This video will show you how to use the verb ‘to have’. As you know, it is a very simple irregular verb, with only four forms: have and has in the present, had in the past, and having as the present participle.

Some of you will already know that some English speakers use ‘have/has got’ for possession. It’s not quite true, however that ‘have’ is American English and ‘have got’ is British. I’ve often heard Americans use ‘have got’!

Please note that ‘have’ in the sense of ‘to consume’ or ‘to take’ can never be ‘have got’

I had a shower this morning. NOT I’ve got a shower this morning”

Using the apostrophe

Apostrophe (prounounced “aPOStrufee”) misuse is very common among native speakers, thus setting a bad example for learners of English.

An apostrophe followed by an s can be one of three things, according to context:

1. contraction of ‘is’ e.g. “Jane’s a pain in the neck” (Jane est un casse-pied)
2. Contraction of ‘has’ e.g. “Jane’s been getting on my nerves all day” (Jane m’enerve toute la journée)
3. Indication of possession. “This is Jane’s stupid brother” (c’est le frère stupide de Jane)

Plurals do not take an apostrophe:

A pair of Jeans (NOT Jean’s)

An apostrophe followed by a d can be either ‘had’ or ‘would’. When used as an auxiliary verb, had is always followed by the past participle, as in the past perfect. Would is always followed by an inifinitive, and is usually (but not always) a conditional.

Do this little exercise to practise the difference between would and had.

auxiliary: would or had?

On entend souvent un ‘d’ après le sujet d’une phrase:

she’d been to Paris

He’d do it for you

Mais de quoi s’agit l’apostrophe suivi par la lettre ‘d’ – c’est ‘would’ ou ‘had’? Faites ce petit exercice afin de mieux comprendre:


I'd rather not do it, if you don't mind.

He did that? But I'd already told him not to.

You'd better hurry up or you'll be late.

I would have gone if she'd invited me.

He'd have been killed if it hadn't been for the fact that a policeman arrived just in time.

It'd be great to see you again.

When he gave me the letter, I told him that it was third complaint I'd had that day.