We say "He/She has it", ie "he" or "she" which are singular is followed by "has". Similarly "they" or "you" which are plural, are followed by "have". But we ask "Does he have it?" ie here "he" is followed by "have". Of course I know it doesn't seem correct to say "Does he has it?". But still why is it so?

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    But have in your example doesn't "agree with he". It's an "unmarked infinitive", which doesn't change even if the subject is changed to a plural - for example, Do they have it? Jul 12, 2018 at 12:34
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    Short answer: because to do has already been conjugated into does. You don't conjugate both verbs in this phrasing.
    – stangdon
    Jul 12, 2018 at 14:55

2 Answers 2


Does he have it? 
Do they have it? 

In the sentences above, "have" doesn't agree with anything.  It's a bare infinitive form, not directly attached to any subject.  The verb that agrees with the subjects in these questions is to do

These are questions.  The first word of the verb construction appears before the subject.  Despite the separation provided by subject/auxiliary inversion, the verb constructions here are "does have" and "do have". 

There is no "does has" construction in English, since both "does" and "has" are finite forms.  They don't naturally combine. 

  • "The verb that agrees with the subjects in these questions is to do." How can to do agree with the subject if it's an infinitive, which don't conjugate? Feb 1, 2020 at 21:23
  • The infinitive is a part of the verb's conjugation. I often use the full infinitive form to refer to the verb in general, without regard to its form. Otherwise I'd have to type things like "do/does". Feb 2, 2020 at 14:16

Does he have it?

There are three reasons why have does not agree with he in this example:

  • We can only have one tensed verb in each verb phrase in English.
  • Only tensed verbs can agree with their subjects.
  • The tensed verb must always be the first verb in the verb phrase.

In the Original Poster's example, the first verb is the verb does. For this reason does is present tense and takes third person singular agreement to agree with he. Because have is not the first verb it cannot be tensed and cannot agree with the Subject. The form of any non-tensed verbs depends on the auxiliary verb which they follow. Here the auxiliary verb is DO, and so the verb have is in the plain form (or infinitive).

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