In a English or American perspective of the difference because I sometimes have trouble making the difference is means a thing and has is owned but I sometimes have trouble making the difference

For instance, "is" and "has" seem to have the same meaning here:

there is a toy

someone has the toy

  • 1
    Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Dec 21, 2022 at 12:16
  • 1
    Is is part of the verb to be and has of to have. You need to tell us more about the kind of sentence where you find them confusing. Dec 21, 2022 at 13:07
  • Can you give some examples of sentences that give you problems?
    – Stuart F
    Dec 21, 2022 at 14:38
  • there is a toy or soemone has the toy Dec 21, 2022 at 15:22

2 Answers 2


"Has" and "is" are different words, unrelated except they can both be used as auxiliary verbs. I don't think there's any meaning overlap between them in English.

THAT SAID, the functions they have in English are different than in other languages, like yours. In English, we use "be" for both identity and existence/location:

(1) She is a teacher. (identity)
(2) She is in the classroom. (existence/location)

and we use "have" for possession:

(3) She has twenty students.

But in Korean, for instance, we use the verb 이다 ("ida") only for identity, and we use 있다 ("issda") for existence/location and possession.

Here's a gloss of Korean sentence structure:

(1) She teacher ida. (identity)
(2) She classroom-in issda. (existence/location)
(3) She twenty students issda. (possession)

I'm assuming it's the same in your language if you're not a Korean speaker. So it's your job as a language learner to figure out if a sentence is about existence or location, and then remember to use "be" verbs, rather than "have" verbs.

  • If you are a Korean speaker, comment below and I'll give you more examples in chat.
    – gotube
    Dec 21, 2022 at 17:27

There is a toy and Someone has the toy have distinct meanings and are used in different contexts.

There is a toy is used to point out a toy in some place, or express that a toy exists. It would normally be qualified by giving the location of the toy ("There is a toy on the floor") or describing the toy ("There is a toy that says hello whenever you come into the room"). "Is" indicates existence - if you want to pick up or buy the toy, you can, but it doesn't say anything about who owns the toy.

Someone has the toy means that the toy is in the possession of someone. It's not lying on the floor. Someone has picked it up and is holding it. "Has" indicates possession - it can either refer to the owner of the toy, or to someone who is currently holding or playing with the toy.

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