Pearson Adult Learning Centre HomePearson Adult Learning Centre: Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde


editpaperUsing "Have" and "Having" Correctly

Two simple words, one representing the simple present and the other the present continuous, can cause difficulty when used with certain expressions. The rule is to use “have” when you mean that you “own” something or to describe a medical condition. Thus, “I have a new car” and “I have a headache.” (note that new English learners sometimes say, “I am having a headache,” which is incorrect.)

However, the rule is broken in the case of the expression, “I am having a heart attack,” that is if you are lucky enough to speak at that moment! Sometimes, English is a contrary language and one must learn its variations by memory.

(September 26, 2010)

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