"He is having a cell phone" - is wrong.

Instead we use:

"He has a cell phone".

However, both A and B below are correct:

A) "We are having a class"

B) "We have a class"



2 Answers 2


Remember: the main reason we use the present continuous is to show that something is happening at the present moment.

Also we need to remember that some verbs are not used in the continuous tense.

Some examples are verbs that show emotion (love, hate, prefer, etc.), measurement (measure, weight, etc.) senses (see, hear, smell, etc.), thought (know, believe, remember, etc.) and possession (have, belong, own, etc.)

We never say: "I am knowing you". We say: "I know you.

Some verbs are both stative (not used in the continuous tense) and dynamic (used in the continuous tense).

For example: 'have'

We can say; I am having spaghetti. / or / I have spaghetti.

As you probably already noticed these two sentences have different meanings.

"I am having spaghetti" means 'I am eating spaghetti' whereas "I have spaghetti" shows possession.

When verbs are used as both stative and dynamic, many times they have different meanings. 'Have' is a little more idiomatic in the way it is used in the continuous tense.

"We are having a class" is not often used (at least in NY) but it means class is in session.

"We have a class" is not talking about now necessarily. Many times this is continued with "to go to" (to infer that we need to go for something that begins 'soon' but 'not now').


You don't use the word have as a main verb in the progressive to talk about things you own or possess. So the correct sentence is:

He has a cell phone.

However, you can use it in the progressive if you talk about actions, events, or activities as follows:

He's having a chat with Joan.

He is having a rest just now.

They are having a party tomorrow.

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