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He is a man who has a bad heart.

or

He is a man who have a bad heart.

Which one is correct?

I tried to search "He is a man who have" and "He is a man who has" on Google but I got quite the same number of matched result, so, I'm not sure which one should be correct.

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  • I tried to search "He is a man who have" and "He is a man who has" on Google -- When you search for "He is a man who have" on Google, Google may tell you About 37,400,000 results. When you see that, don't just simply trust it. Try to get to the result #50 (i.e. on the 5th page, if your browser displays 10 results a page), and you'll see that it's impossible. Aug 27, 2015 at 15:50

1 Answer 1

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The first phrase is correct. The verb to have in your sentence is conjugated in the third person singular because of man. The relative pronoun is your subject in the subclauses which refers back to man.

He is a man who has a bad heart.

I am not sure how you got this confused, because the other subject He in the main clause would also require a third person singular verb. You don't use the form have for the third person singular, that form is used for I, you, we and they. Both of your subjects require a third person singular verb, there are no plural or first/third person subjects in your clauses.

However, grammatical concord (subject-verb agreement) can cause confusion in cases like this:

  • It is he who has done this.
  • It is I who have done this.

Sometimes people will get confused, or perhaps don't even notice, and put has in the second sentence as well even though the relative pronoun who refers to I which requires the first person singular form of your verb.

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  • Wait, don't you mean to say the first phrase is correct? Although, I suppose he switched the order of them when he mentioned them again after the block quotes. Rather disorienting situation.
    – Crazy Eyes
    Aug 27, 2015 at 16:06
  • @CrazyEyes Yes I indeed meant to say first sentence, but I now also see that the OP's post is rather confusing :P
    – Vlammuh
    Aug 27, 2015 at 16:12

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