'It Has' or 'It Have': Which is Correct?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on September 29, 2022

If you are wondering whether to use 'it has' or 'it have,' this article will help clarify that. Because the truth is, it depends.

  • Use 'it has' when making a statement
  • Use 'it have' when asking a question
  • Use 'it have' when making a negative statement

These two phrases are part of our confusing words article series. We'll explain exactly how to use them on this page.

When Do You Use 'It Has'?

'Have' as a Regular Verb

The verb 'to have' in its basic form is helpful to describe what someone or something has (possession). When using it this way, the correct form would be 'it has.' For example:

  • It has the most beautiful colors.
  • I love Central Park; it has so many majestic trees.

This is because 'has' is always the correct conjugation when using the third person singular. The corresponding pronouns are:

  • He
  • She
  • It

Let's see some more examples using these three pronouns:

  • He has a very calm temperament.
  • She collects shoes; she has a lot of them.
  • It isn't perfect - it has flaws.

We could also replace the pronouns with actual names of people or things. For example:

  • John has a lot of work to do today.
  • Sally has large green eyes.
  • The dog has a preference for meaty dishes.

'Have' as an Auxiliary Verb

'Have' is also an auxiliary verb, which means it isn't the main verb in a sentence but rather a helping verb. Here are some examples:

  • It has been a long time since I saw you last.
  • My sweater is a little rugged. It has seen better days.
  • It has been raining all day.

'Have' as a Semi-Modal Verb

In the phrase 'have to,' 'have' is a semi-modal verb. It is used to talk about an obligation, and the same rules apply in terms of conjugation: it is still 'it has.'

Here are some examples:

  • I'm sorry, but it has to be this way.
  • I know you like the sunshine, but it has to rain sometimes.
  • We've been lost for hours; this has to be the right way.

When Do You Use 'It Have'?

The following might surprise you, but it is sometimes correct to say 'it have': when asking a question.


If you're asking a question, it is acceptable to use 'it have.' For example:

  • Does the menu have anything dairy-free?
  • How could it have been different?
  • Does it have anything to do with you?

The same applies to questions with 'she' or 'he,' also third person singular pronouns. For example:

  • Does she have enough money?
  • Can he have a little more?

Negative Sentences

Although you can't exactly use the words 'it' and 'have' together in a negative sentence, you can use 'it doesn't have.' For example:

  • It doesn't have all the features we need.
  • She said it didn't have anything to do with me.

To Conclude for 'It Has' or 'It Have'

In summary, 'it has' is the standard correct way unless it is a question or a negative statement.

'It has' or 'it have' can refer to possession, an obligation, or as a helping verb.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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