Elena
Haven’t I want to ask British people, if they ever use the form “haven’t”, NOT haven’t got Like “I haven’t a clue..” do you ever say it? Is it an old form that no one uses anymore? Can I come across it in books?
Oct 16, 2019 4:49 PM
Answers · 4
Do you ever say it? Yes, sometimes Is it an old form that no one uses anymore? No, it isn't. You will hear people say this. Can I come across it in books? Yes, but not only in books. In British English, we sometimes use just 'haven't' - as an alternative to 'haven't got' - in a few specific constructions. The phrase "I haven't a clue" is one good example. Another time we sometimes use 'haven't' on its own is when it's followed by 'any' 'much' or 'many', as in "I haven't any money" or "We haven't much time". Those are the exceptions to the rule, however. In most situations, we use either 'I don't have..' or 'I haven't got..' in just the same way as everyone else in the world does. There are a lot of myths surrounding the use of 'haven't' which you're asking about. At one end of the scale, you have the ancient textbooks, unfortunately still in use in Russia, which would have you believe that "Have you sisters?" "No, I haven't sisters" is normal English. (It isn't . Nobody has had that conversation in that way since about 1930). You will also meet American English speakers who'll tell you that they don't speak like that (true) but that the British people do ( untrue). Then at the other end of the scale, you'll meet people who'll tell you that the form 'haven't' as the negative of 'have' is archaic and only exists in books (not true either). We do still use it - but only sometimes and in certain phrases. Is this something that you need to learn about? No, it isn't. There are far more important aspects of English for you to concentrate on. Remember this: 'Don't have' is always right. 'Haven't got' is sometimes, but not always right. 'Haven't' is usually wrong or very unnatural. You can forget about it.
October 16, 2019
Здравствуйте! Да, мы все еще говорим это. Некоторых молодых людей это выглядит немного старомодно - если бы я сказалa "I haven't a clue" среди моих одноклассников, они, вероятно, рассмеялись бы - но это не совсем устарело, и на самом деле все еще остается довольно распространенным среди более старые и богатые социальные круги.
October 16, 2019
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Elena
Language Skills
English, German, Russian
Learning Language
English, German