I'm learning American English and I want to know the best pattern related to American ways. Which one of "I haven't received" or "I don't have received" is correct? I doubt that "I don't have received" is grammatically correct.

  • "I haven't received" is correct, "I don't have received" sounds very odd.
    – user150280
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 10:33
  • I can't find a duplicate. But I'm sure one exists.
    – James K
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 10:46

3 Answers 3


'I have not received' is correct, because this is the correct negative form of the present perfect. To put the present perfect tense in a negative form, use this formula: Have/Has + not + the past participle. You’ll also commonly see the contractions haven’t or hasn’t.


I haven’t been to Italy.
I haven’t noticed anything odd going on.
Mary hasn’t seen the movie before.


When you negate a sentence, you put a not between the auxiliary verb and the main verb:

I have received ...
I have not received ...

If there is not an auxiliary verb, you add do/did as a dummy auxiliary, then put not between it and the main verb:

I received ...
I did not receive ...

Your first sentence is correct because have is an auxiliary verb, so you don't need to add do/did.


The word "have" is used in two ways. Firstly as a main verb

I have a car. I don't have a car. Do you have a car?

Secondly it can be an auxiliary verb to form the present perfect, with the past participle.

I have received it. I haven't received it. Have you received it?

When "have" is the main verb, and meaning possession, you form the negative as "don't have" or doesn't have". But in your case, when "have" is an auxiliary verb and meaning the perfect tense you form the negative as "have not" or "has not" (which shorten to haven't and hasn't)

You must say "I haven't received it".

In some older British English examples you may sometimes see "I have not a car", but this is now obsolete in modern English. You may also hear some idioms like "I haven't a clue". These are exceptions, and not the rule.


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