“Have Not” vs. “Do Not Have” – Difference Explained For Beginners

There is a key difference between using “have not” and “do not have” that needs to be explained. One of them uses “have” as an auxiliary, while the other uses it as the sentence’s main verb. In this article, we’ll look at the differences between those two factors.

What Is The Difference Between “Have Not” And “Do Not Have”?

“Have not” should be used when it’s written as an auxiliary (helping) verb, which means that a verb comes after it to aid the sentence (i.e., “we have not seen him”). “Do not have” should be used when “do” is the auxiliary verb and “to have” is the main verb.

What Is The Difference Between "Have Not" And "Do Not Have"?

According to The Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of “have” is “to own” as a verb. As an auxiliary, it is “used with the past participle of other verbs to form the present perfect and past perfect.”

These are the only two cases that show the major difference between using “have not” and “do not have” in a sentence. Once we include some examples, it should make more sense what we’re trying to tell you.

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Is “Have Not” Or “Do Not Have” Used The Most?

Before we get to any examples, we thought it would help to go through some statistics. We find that statistics are some of the most useful ways for you to learn about the popularity of words and which one is most commonly used.

You’ll often find that the more common words are more appropriate to focus your learning on. Since more native speakers tend to use them, you’ll better understand what is and what isn’t popular.

According to this graph, “have not” is the more popular of the two choices. It has been steadily declining over the last hundred years, while “do not have” is slowly growing. They are fairly similar in popularity today.

Is "Have Not" Or "Do Not Have" Used The Most?

Usually, the divide between two words like this is much more apparent. We can use that to our advantage to help teach which is best. However, in this case, both words are used almost equally.

That’s good to know because it means that generally, you’ll have an easier time picking up the language rules. A lot of native speakers tend to use these rules interchangeably.

Examples Of How To Use “Have Not” In A Sentence

Now we’ll move on to the examples and how to use them. We’ll start with the slightly more popular variation, “have not.” We use “have not” as an auxiliary verb, so it always needs a verb to help.

“Have not” is a negative auxiliary verb. In all of the following examples, you’ll notice that a secondary verb is included for “have not” to make sense with. Without a secondary verb, the sentence structure falls flat and makes no sense.

  1. I have not got the patience to deal with you today.
  2. We have not made enough time to get there!
  3. She has not been well over the last three months.
  4. They have not stolen the painting.
  5. I have not seen what you’re talking about, but I’ll keep my eyes open.
  6. We have not spoken a word about it since.
  7. I have not noticed a difference in your demeanor.
  8. They have not been back to this house.
  9. He has not made it to where he was supposed to go.

We can use the verb form “have not” and “has not,” as seen in these examples. “Have not” is used with the pronouns “I,” “you,” “we,” and “they.” “Has not” is used with the pronouns “he,” “she,” and “it.” Otherwise, they are identical. The only difference is form.

“Have not” in all of these cases is being used as the auxiliary verb. That means we always include a second verb directly after it to indicate something that has not happened in the context.

Notice how we use “got” in example one or “seen” in example five. All of the secondary verbs we use are in the past tense. This is because including “have not” and a secondary verb turns the tense into the present perfect tense.

The present perfect tense means that something happened in the past but can still be actioned or completed in the present.

Examples Of How To Use “Do Not” In A Sentence

Now let’s look at “do not have” in these examples. We’ll include as many forms as we can think of. “Do not have” is using “have” as the secondary verb, while “do not” is the auxiliary.

In these examples, “have” becomes the secondary verb. That means every example refers to somebody “having” something. “Do not” is used to indicate that someone is not in possession of that thing. No other verb form is used.

  1. I do not have what it takes to join the army.
  2. He does not have the patience to find out.
  3. They do not have the information and never will.
  4. You do not have to be here.
  5. I do not have the book.
  6. We do not have it all.
  7. You don’t have my father’s eyes.
  8. I don’t have to tell you a thing.
  9. She doesn’t have my heart anymore.

As you can see, we use “do not” and “does not” synonymously. “Do not” is used this time to refer to the pronouns “I,” “you,” “they,” and “we.” “Does not” is used for “he,” “she,” and “it.”

Also, we included some contractions as another form you can use with “do not have.” We can contract “do not” to “don’t.” It’s most common to see this in informal writing pieces, as well as to hear it in spoken English. “Do not” is generally more formal.

In all of these cases, we use “have” as the secondary verb, so each example refers to someone being in possession of something. Of course, this doesn’t always have to be the case. For example, do not can be used in the following ways:

  • I do not understand.
  • We do not want to be here.

These examples show “do not” as the auxiliary. In these cases, it’s not about possession with the verb “to have.” Each one uses a different verb form.

When Should I Use “Have Not” Vs. “Has Not”?

The rules for using “have not” and “has not” have already been covered. However, we’ll repeat them for anyone who might have missed them (or if you didn’t quite understand them when we went through them last time).

“Have not” should be used with the pronouns “I,” “you,” “we,” and “they.” “Has not” should be used with the pronouns “he,” “she,” and “it.”

Other than that, there are no major differences. Here are some examples of each of them to demonstrate what we mean:

  • I have not seen you lately.
  • You have not been there for me.
  • We have not got the time.
  • They have not made it.
  • He has not been okay.
  • She has not found out more.
  • It has not been easy.

These are all the acceptable forms and differences between “have not” and “has not.”

What Is The Difference Between “Did Not” And “Had Not”?

Now let’s look at “did not” and “had not.” These are both referring to the past tense, but they’re still used differently.

“Did not” acts as the auxiliary to say that something didn’t happen in the past, and there is no way to act on it in the present either. “Had not” acts as the auxiliary to say that someone did not possess something in the past and can’t do so in the present.

Both of these tenses are known as the past perfect tense. That means something both began and ended in the past, and the present has no more of an impact on the outcome.

  • I did not have you to help.
  • I had not been there for him.

Both of these examples are correct. “Did not have” is the past perfect to say that someone wasn’t available to “help” us, and their time has already passed for it.

“Had not been there” in the second example means that you were not there to comfort the object of the sentence “him.” Now, it’s too late to be there for them anymore.

What Is The Difference Between “Have Not” And “Have No”?

“Have not” should be used when referring to something that you do not have in your possession and using “have” as an auxiliary verb. “Have no” should be used when you have zero items in your possession relating to the discussion.

“No” is much more final than “not.”

  • I have not seen him. (Using the auxiliary form).
  • I have no friends. (Saying you have absolutely zero friends).

Is It “Would Have Not” Or “Would Not Have”?

“Would not have” is the correct form because “would” is now used as the auxiliary verb while “have” is the working verb. “Would have not” is a mistake and is jumbled up.

Is “Have Not Had” Grammatically Correct?

“Have not had” is grammatically correct when using “have not” as the auxiliary to talk about something that you haven’t had in the past. It’s the present perfect tense using “to have” as the main verb.

  • I have not had contact with him.