Is it okay to ask:

Are you are having a lecture now?'


Are you at lecture now?

would that be more correct?


Chances are, you don't want either.

We wouldn't normally ask "Are you having a lecture now?". To a native speaker, it wouldn't sound right unless you were asking whether an organisation had reached a decision on whether to hold a lecture, and even then, "are you holding a lecture" would be preferred. This is unlikely to be what you mean. "Are you at lecture now?" is not correct either because it is missing an article. Here are some correct and idiomatic ways to ask the question, with notes on the differences between them:

  • "Are you at the lecture now?": I have a particular lecture in mind which I am expecting you to attend, and I want to know if you are there yet.
  • "Are you at the lecture?": I have a particular lecture in mind, but I don't know whether you are attending.
  • "Are you at a lecture now?": I don't know what your timetable is, and I want to know if you're at a lecture (as opposed to, for example, being available for something else).
  • "Are you at a lecture?": Same again: I know it's possible you're at a lecture, but I don't know what lectures you might be at.

You need the "a" or "the", because "lecture" is singular and not a proper noun. This is complicated somewhat, because there are some events that we treat like proper nouns (notable examples include being "in class" or "at prayer"), but a lecture is not among them.

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  • Maybe the missing article was an oversight, or maybe it was general confusion about English grammar, but it might be worth pointing out the difference between, "Are you at a lecture" and "Are you in class." I wonder if the original poster assumed that because being at a lecture is like being in class, you could omit the article. – Juhasz Nov 27 '18 at 16:26
  • It's true, the missing article may have been an oversight. In the end, it doesn't matter: if mentioning it doesn't help the asker, it still might be important for a future reader. "Are you at a lecture" versus "are you in class" is a good point to raise, but I'm not sure how to phrase it. I'll see what I can cook up. – Darael Nov 27 '18 at 16:29

To supplement Darael's good answer...

We don't normally say that we're having a lecture.

But there is a particular usage, at least in American English, where the verb lecture is transitive and means "to berate, to harangue", where we can using having.

Okay, okay. I wish you would stop lecturing me about it!

And so Tommy could tell his friend Billy that he cannot come outside and play:

I can't come out and play, Billy. I'm having a lecture.


I can't come out and play, Billy. I'm getting lectured.

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