verb (has /haz, has/, having, had /had/)[with object]
Old English habban, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hebben and German haben, also probably to heave
1 Have and have got: there is a great deal of debate on the difference between these two forms; a traditional view is that have got is chiefly British, but not correct in formal writing, while have is chiefly American. Actual usage is more complicated: have got is in fact also widely used in US English. In both British and US usage have is more formal than have got and it is more appropriate in writing to use constructions such as don’t have rather than haven’t got.2 A common mistake is to write the word of instead of have or 've: I could of told you that instead of I could’ve told you that. The reason for the mistake is that the pronunciation of have in unstressed contexts is the same as that of of, and the two words are confused when it comes to writing them down. The error was recorded as early as 1837 and, though common, is unacceptable in standard English.3 Another controversial issue is the insertion of have where it is superfluous, as for example I might have missed it if you hadn’t have pointed it out (rather than the standard ... if you hadn’t pointed it out). This construction has been around since at least the 15th and 16th centuries, but only where a hypothetical situation is presented (e.g. statements starting with if). More recently, there has been speculation among grammarians and linguists that this insertion of have may represent a kind of subjunctive and is actually making a useful distinction in the language. However, it is still regarded as an error in standard English.