The verb "have" has many meanings. Some of its meanings can be used in continuous tenses, its other tenses can not be used in continuous tenses.

For example, "I am having a great time" ("have" means to experience in this case)

But, "I have flu" ("have" means to "suffer from" in this case)

What does the verb "have" in this sentence "have a Covid shot" mean?

Can we say "I am having a Covid shot tomorrow"?

2 Answers 2


It means experience the action happening or cause something to be done to you by someone else.

Yes, we can say I am having a Covid shot tomorrow (or getting).

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    I think getting is more likely. I'm having dinner, but I'm getting a shot. Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 9:20
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    @JackO'Flaherty Agreed - I think the difference is that "having" sounds like more of a long-term process - it takes some time to eat dinner, while "getting" is a single event - the actual shot takes seconds. Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 19:06
  • @DarrelHoffman I also agree I would use getting and not having, but I'm having (haha) a hard time putting my finger on why. I think it may be because getting means obtaining, as in "I am getting groceries tomorrow." where having would mean owning which would actually be limited by the time "tomorrow"... "I am going to get a car tomorrow" (I will buy it tomorrow, it will be mine until future notice) vs "I am going to have a car tomorrow" (I probably won't have it day after tomorrow for some reason, maybe it was only a rental). Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 19:46

The sentence "I am having a Covid shot tomorrow" is fine. The word "shot" is commonly used in UK English to denote an injection.

I believe that the intended meaning is "an anti-Covid shot" or even better a "a Covid vaccination". However, the phrase "a Covid shot" works well as no one (except a few research scientists) would want to inject the actual disease.

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    I would say that for many Brits, 'shot' for injection still has a distinct whiff of being an Americanism. We have seen much use of 'jab' in the UK press. Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 9:52
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    @MichaelHarvey - and apparently Americans find 'jab' strange (or did at the start of the pandemic) - separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.com/2020/12/… Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 10:18
  • While "an anti-Covid shot" is more technically accurate saying "a Covid shot" I don't think there is much chance of being misunderstood in this context. No one is getting a shot that gives them Covid (I would hope), so either would be interpreted the same way. I've certainly heard native english speakers use both
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 18:36
  • @KateBunting I think that's because we associate "jab" with a punch, either literally (e.g. in a fistfight/boxing match) or figuratively (e.g. small verbal insults). Not something you want to be on the receiving end of in either case. Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 19:09
  • @DarrelHoffman - Neither do you want to be on the receiving end of a (gun)shot! It all depends on which term you are used to. Commented Jan 8, 2022 at 9:38

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