What is the difference between have, has and had in English

The use of the verbs ‘have’, ‘has’ and ‘had’ in the different tenses of the English

Learning English requires understanding and correct use of grammar rules. One of the key aspects of grammar is learning the difference between the verbs “have,” “has,” and “had.” These words, belonging to one verb type, have their own specific forms and are used in different cases. In this article, we will look at the meaning and usage rules of each of these verbs so that you can more easily master their correct usage.


  1. Have (verb in indefinite form)

“Have” is the infinitive form of this verb. It can be used with plural nouns or with the indefinite form of other verbs to form Present Perfect and Past Perfect verb constructions. Here are some examples:

  • Present Perfect: “I have seen that movie before.”
  • Present Perfect: “They have visited London many times.”
  • Past Perfect: “She had already left when I arrived.”


  1. Has (third person singular Present Simple)

“Has” is the third person singular (he, she, it) form of this verb in the Present Simple. Use “has” with singular nouns to form the present simple for the third person. Here are some examples:

  • “She has a dog.”
  • “He has a new job.”
  • “It has a blue cover.”


  1. Had (past tense)

“Had” is the past tense form of this verb and is used to form the Past Perfect. Past Perfect indicates an event that happened before another past event. Here are examples:

  • “She had already eaten when he arrived.”
  • “I had finished my work before the meeting started.”

Table of possible forms for the verbs “have,” “has,” and “had” in different tenses

A table of all possible forms for the verbs “have,” “has,” and “had” in different tenses

Time/PersonHave (plural and first person singular)Has (third person singular)Had (past tense)
Present SimpleI haveShe has
You haveHe has
We haveIt has
They have
Present ContinuousI am havingShe is having
You are havingHe is having
We are havingIt is having
They are having
Present PerfectI have hadShe has had
You have hadHe has had
We have hadIt has had
They have had
Present Perfect ContinuousI have been havingShe has been having
You have been havingHe has been having
We have been havingIt has been having
They have been having
Past SimpleI had
You had
We had
They had
Past ContinuousI was having
She was having
He was having
It was having
They were having
Past PerfectI had had
You had had
We had had
They had had
Past Perfect ContinuousI had been having
She had been having
He had been having
It had been having
They had been having

In general, “have,” “has,” and “had” are verbs that indicate possession of something in the Present and Past and are used in different tenses to express an action. Understanding and using these verbs correctly will help you improve your English skills and communicate confidently at an English level. Practice using these verbs in different sentences to make your speech sound more natural.

Video – Basic English Grammar: Have, Has, Had

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