We use has with plural person as well as non living things. (please correct me, if I'm wrong) and we use have with singular person like I, we, you, they.

I often find sentences like;

Though poverty is still rampant in India, economic growth and commercial development have served to reduce it substantially over the years

Why do they use have and not has?


2 Answers 2


Edit: you are saying the opposite of every English language book. Actually, has is singular, and have is plural! (in the third person, that is.)

Your sentence has a plural subject: economic growth and commercial development.

Because of that, the verb also takes the plural.

When you use A and B as the subject, it is plural.

Consider the following sentences:

Alice has a book.
Bob likes reading.

Now, with and, we get the plural:

Alice and Bob have a book.
Alice and Bob like reading.


We use has with plural person [...].

Could you provide an example for this? I cannot think of what you could mean.

Additionally, they and we are referring to more than one person, i.e. plural. The only exception here is "I have", other than that it is " has" and " have".

Concerning your sentence, "growth and development" can be shortened to "they", hence "They have served...".

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