Can we use Having as possession

1) i am having a car

2) i am having 2 brother

1 Answer 1


In most varieties of English have can take the continuous form only when it has a meaning other than possess. Examples:

We're having a party next week. (having = organising, arranging, holding)

I'm having some difficulties. (having = experiencing; Present continuous)

I would say "I'm having a car" only in the sense of "I have arranged to hire or borrow a car", and I can't think of any contexts in which I would say "I am having a brother".

However, my impression is that Indian English uses continuous forms more than other varieties, and that sentences like yours are common in Indian English.

  • Would it be inconceivable for a young child, with a pregnant mum, to say "I'm having a brother"? Equally an adult might say: "I'm having a new car in April", or "We are having fish & chips for tea", or to a phone caller "I can't talk now I'm having my dinner". But would "having" represent possessing or "acquiring" in those three instances? Perhaps "yes" in the first two cases, but what about the others?
    – WS2
    Commented Feb 20, 2019 at 13:46
  • @WS2: You're right about having a brother. They're all something other than "possess" in my view.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Feb 20, 2019 at 13:47
  • Having in relation to a person can be a slang term for sex—and it does imply possession. (But that's a special case, and not really relevant to the syntax per se.) Commented Feb 20, 2019 at 22:44
  • @JasonBassford A bit dated as well, I would suggest.
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 16:54
  • @WS2 Actually, now that I think of it, it's perfectly natural, to use having with possession when it comes to food or drink too. I'm having a drink or I'm having a steak dinner. Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 17:02

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