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How many legs does an octopus have?

How many legs does an octopus has?

If octopus is singular, why do we use "has" instead of "have"?

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    why do we use "has" instead of "have"? The short answer is We don't! This is "basic English". Sep 10, 2017 at 14:14

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"has" is incorrect in this structure. The correct sentence is:

  • How many legs does an octopus have?

The only way "has" can be correct is in this structure:

  • How many legs has an octopus?

When we use the auxilary verb "do" in the interrogative it is always "have" with either plural or singular subject.

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    Octopus "legs" or "arms" would be understood by most folks. Tentacles in informal spoken English could seem awkward in some cases.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 10, 2017 at 14:05
  • @ColleenV My god, is it really so different in English? Sep 10, 2017 at 14:06

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