‘Hasn’t’ vs ‘Haven’t’: What’s the Difference? This article is going to be a helpful lesson in learning the singular and plural versions of words. You will also learn about what a contraction is and how they are commonly used in English writing.
In a rush? Here’s a preview of what’s to come:
The key difference between these two words is how many people they apply to.
An exception to this rule is when using the first person singular “I,” in which case you would use the plural form ‘Haven’t.’ Keep this exception in mind, but otherwise, you will need to focus on the number of people you’re talking about to determine which word is the proper one to use.
‘Hasn’t’ and ‘Haven’t’ are verbs, so we will focus on verbs in this section even though other parts of speech can also be both singular and plural.
Singular verbs often keep their root and simply add an ‘-s’ as a suffix to the end of the word. While ‘Has’ is its own root, it does follow the rule of having an ‘-s’ at the end.
Here are some examples of singular verbs:
Plural verbs, on the other hand, tend to stay in their infinitive root form, but they are identified as plural by the subject (either people or things) attached to them.
Here are some examples of plural verbs:
When determining whether to use ‘Hasn’t’ vs ‘Haven’t,’ be sure to take a look at the root verb within the word so you can assess whether the verb is singular or plural. What makes this tricky? Navigating, finding the root within the contraction.
Let’s learn more about what contractions are and what they do.
Contractions are a bit of a language shortcut, and it’s a way of combining two words into one to make them shorter, and it is typically used on verbs. In the case of ‘Hasn’t’ and ‘Haven’t,’ the word ‘not’ is shortened and glued to the end of the root verb. The shortening is indicated by replacing the “o” with an apostrophe, indicating that it shouldn’t be pronounced.
Here is a breakdown of our new words:
Note: the word's root doesn’t change when forming the contraction. Only the “not” is shortened. This is because, linguistically, it is easier for us to combine the ending words to make our speech flow more and so we can speak and get our points across quicker.
Contracting verbs is also a great way to make your writing or speaking sound less formal and more conversational. As mentioned, we often use contractions naturally because they make our speech more efficient. Still, they also make it less serious, which can be helpful in informal writing settings such as text messages.
Since you now have more basic information on the building blocks of our new words, let’s take a look at some example sentences using ‘Hasn’t’ vs ‘Haven’t.’ Be sure to focus on the subjects of the sentences and keep an eye out for singular vs plural, as well as the first-person exception.
This article has posed as a handful of mini-lessons all in one spot. You’ve learned when to use singular and plural forms of verbs, what contractions are, and how to use both of those when comparing ‘Hasn’t’ vs ‘Haven’t.’ Remember that the number of people doing the action and the root of the contraction are the biggest things to focus on when determining when to use these words.
Need a quick recap of what we covered?
Navigating and learning new words can be made more difficult when they include a variety of word adjustments, as we see in ‘Hasn’t’ and ‘Haven’t.’ But the more you learn these words individually as well as the way they change when made singular/plural or when they are contracted, the better you’ll be at mastering language. Look at more confusing words like these in our other articles to get a grasp on other contractions that can cause problems in writing.
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