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I came across this sentence:

"It may not have been delivered yet"

I can't understand: why is "have" used here with "it"?

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Maulik, what he probably means is why it doesn't cause have to turn into its third-person singular form, has: "It may not has been delivered yet". – CowperKettle Aug 4 '14 at 6:41
what is the source? – Maulik V Aug 4 '14 at 6:42
Okay, that's because of may. It takes have and never has. – Maulik V Aug 4 '14 at 6:56
"why is 'have' used here with 'it'" It's not! "May" is used here with "it". "Have" is used here with "may". Read all the words – Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 4 '14 at 7:34
up vote 11 down vote accepted

"It may not have been delivered yet"

The sentence uses have instead of has because the verb to have is attached here to may, a modal verb. When we have a construction of the type modal verb + another verb, we put the second verb in the infinitive form (without to):

She goes to the dentist today.


She may go (not may goes!) to the dentist today. (go is used in the infinitive form without to).

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Thanks for saving my efforts, I deleted my answer halfway! +1 :) – Maulik V Aug 4 '14 at 6:57
Well, Hindi Russi bhai bhai. (0: – CowperKettle Aug 4 '14 at 7:35
hey...wow.. you know a bit of it or the whole language? :) nice to hear that anyway! – Maulik V Aug 4 '14 at 8:27
Only this phrase. (0; Oh, and namaste, of course! My sister knows more, she had her Master's degree from JNU. – CowperKettle Aug 4 '14 at 8:33

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