We have plenty of office space available. (from Oxford learner's dictionaries)

In the above sentence, what is the grammatical role of 'available'? 1)a modifier that is included in the NounPhrase which takes 'office space' as head or 2) an object complement or 3) else what?

In the beginning, I thought it might be a modifier which modifies 'plenty of office space.' However, I found out that 'have available NP' pattern can also be used. link When I googled 'have available a', many results showed up which include examples like "We have available a limited number of plants," and "If you call us with a problem, please have available a paper and pencil, the names of any medications your child is taking, and a recent temperature, if relevant."

Let's take "Have available a paper." If 'available' were just a modifying adjective, only 'Have an available paper' would be a possible paraphrase of 'Have a paper available", but 'have available a paper' is also possible.

I think that the order of 'available a paper' indicates 'available' is not included in the NounPhrase 'a paper' because it precedes the article 'a'.

Does 'Have a paper available' even mean the same as 'Have an availalbe paper' and 'Have available a paper'? In these sentences, does 'have' mean 'own'? I'm not sure and please tell me. And how can 'available' precede NPs? What's the internal syntactic structure of 'have available NPs'?

  • 1
    “Available a paper” is not a constituent, and nor here is “a paper available”. "Available" is not here a modifier in NP structure, but an adjunct in clause structure.
    – BillJ
    Dec 26, 2021 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


I'm not going to comment on the grammar of it because it's an archaic form that lingers today as a turn of phrase that's used in advertisement.

It's easier and perhaps more modern to say "It's available" or "we have units available for immediate delivery". But when a sales advertisement uses the construction "we have available" to many American ears it adds a feeling of scarcity, uniqueness, prestige.

Hoping this helps, Scott

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