I’ll come back to the title in a minute. Don’t worry; it’s not a typing error. As is the nature of human beings, people like to boast (talk very proudly) about the things they own which they say are the biggest, the most expensive or the best that anybody can think of. Countries do the same. Their people talk about the tallest bridges, the longest rivers or the most successful achievements (things that have been completed by the people in the country) that you can only find in their country. Languages of course can also throw their weight around (act as if they are very important) and maintain (say) that they are the best in the world. English gets carried away (over excited) sometimes, too. And talking of superlatives, what do you think is the longest word in the English language. There are several answers to this question but I will choose one -: ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’. Quite a mouthful, you will no doubt agree. Let’s take it to pieces -. ‘ism’ is an ending used for beliefs and philosophies such as communism, capitalism or fascism. The ‘establishment’ is the word that describes the way the country is governed. In the UK for example we have a monarch (a king or queen) who officially gives permission to (allows) the Houses of Parliament to run (control) the country.
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Today of course the king or queen is merely the head in name only and has no power. The ending ‘arian’ makes a noun like ‘parliament’ into a person – a parliamentarian. In this way ‘establishment’ becomes a person called an ‘establishmentarian’ – someone who believes in the establishment. We now have the word ‘establishmentarianism’ which means a belief that the way a country is run should continue as it always has done. It follows that ‘disestablishmentarianism ‘ means the opposite – in other words you want to change the present system. And we end with ‘disestablishmentarianism’ that means a belief that you are against those who want to change the present situation. I hope you have followed all that. Let’s take a deep breath and go back to the title, a nice, short word ‘have’.
This word ‘have’ is a workhorse (it works very hard) because it appears in many different guises (forms) – as ‘has’ as ‘having’ and of course as ‘had’. It most frequently acts as the mainstay (the main support) for a tense that is asked about again and again on our forums – the Present Perfect... When do we use it and when do we use the Past Simple? Let me ask some simple questions: Where exactly is Lily? Is she in the house? Is she outside? Where is she? The answer could be one of these two: She has gone to the shops or She went to the shops two hours ago. In the first one we don’t know when Lily went to the shops and in the second one, we do. Does that help? I hope so.
Continued... Read Part 2 of Have
PS: I'm looking forward to your comments and questions which you can post here: Newsletter: Have