Do you have a pen?

The verb in the question is "have" which is a possessive verb. Can such questions be asked in passive form?

  • Is a pen had? (That's quite unusual, but it doesn't seem actually wrong.) Oct 23, 2018 at 22:01
  • 2
    Active voice: "He cut the rope"; Passive voice: "The rope was cut." Passive voice including agent: "The rope was cut by him." Active voice: "You have a pen."; Passive voice: "A pen is had."; Passive voice with subject: "A pen is had by you." Made into a question: "Is a pen had by you?"....... They'll send you to the loony bin for asking this. How about "Is a pen available?", no this isn't in the passive voice. Can I ask why you would like to know if this can be asked in the passive voice?
    – Zebrafish
    Oct 23, 2018 at 22:14
  • Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
    – Laurel
    Oct 23, 2018 at 23:24
  • I heard someone justifying the passive voice of the question in concern as "Is the pen owned by you? " Oct 24, 2018 at 3:22
  • But native speakers never use such stative verbs in passive forms. At times they tolerate in past as.. The Villa was owned by Thomas Oct 24, 2018 at 3:24

1 Answer 1


According to Grammaring.com, have cannot be passivized.

Certain state verbs are not used in the passive even if they are transitive. Examples of such verbs are: belong, have (own), lack, resemble, suit etc.

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