Is the continuous form of "have" ok in the sentence "he's having a cold"? Or is it ONLY correct and possible to say "He has a cold"? I can't figure out if in this case "have a cold" is a state verb or not. If it were, it couldn't have the continuous form.

  • have a cold in not used in the continuous form... – Lambie Apr 28 '19 at 16:08

Some verbs have two different meanings or senses. For one sense we cannot use a continuous tense. For the other sense we can use any tense.

In sense 1 there is no real action, no activity. This sense is called "stative". In sense 2 there is a kind of action, a kind of activity. This sense is called "dynamic"

to have: 1. I have a pound now. (Non-Continuous Verb: I possess a pound.)

  1. I am having fun now. ( Normal Verb: I am experiencing fun now.)

  2. I can’t answer the phone, I’m having a bath. (Normal Verb: I’m taking)

  3. We will be having a party on Friday.

Therefore, the answer is: He has a cold.


Colds cannot be continuously had. You have to use the simple present to describe when someone currently has a cold, ie, "[Luke] has a cold."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.