For example:

A) I have a book in my room.
B) There is a book in my room.

I want to express: I have a book, and the book is in my room.

Which is more accurate? Is example A wrong? But it sounds like A is better than B.

What if I want to express something like: I love a girl. She is now living in my heart, which is what I hope.

A) I have the girl in my heart.
B) I have the girl live in my heart.

Which is a better choice? I feel that B is better than A, but is A wrong grammatically? (Compare these to example A about the book.)

By the way, for the sentence above: She is now living in my heart, which is what I hope. Can I omit the "what"?

  • 3
    Having someone in your heart is different from having something in your room (presuming that you have not shrunken someone down and injected them into your blood stream). There are certain cases where in my heart can be used idiomatically (e.g. I didn't have it in my heart to tell her that I no longer loved her) but the sentences, as they read now, don't quite fit the bill. The sentiment you are going for might be better captured by holding someone in your heart but, again, the structure of that is idiomatic. May 20, 2013 at 13:35

2 Answers 2


For the first one, A is correct. B is incorrect because it doesn't mean that you own that book. It just says "There is a book in your room", that's all.

For the second, again A is better. B will also work, but it's not the way native speakers say it.

  • In 2B. Live (a verb) must be replaced by an adjective (alive) or a participle acting as an adjective (living); with the verb the sentence means I cause her to live in my heart. Jun 23, 2013 at 21:09

A book in your room

Both of these sentences are correct English. Given what you said you wanted to express, sentence A is the better one (it says that you posess a book, and the book is in your room):

I have a book in my room.

Sentence B is also correct, but only says that the book is in your room, it does not say anything about whether the book is yours or not.

Living in your heart

Sentence A is actually fairly reasonable for this situation. To say you have somebody in your heart implies that you love them, and also that they are living (dwelling) there in your heart. You don't necessarily need to say anything more than that. In fact, you could even say less:

The girl is in my heart.

Sentence B is awkward. It could technically be grammatically correct, but only if interpreted in a way that you probably didn't mean (what it says is basically the same as "I make the girl live in my heart"). You could instead say (as you basically did to begin with):

I have the girl living in my heart

...which is more correct, and means that you have a condition, and the condition is that the girl is living in your heart.

(While "I have her in my heart" or "She is in my heart" probably imply that she's there because you want her to be in your heart, saying "I have her living in my heart" might actually imply that you have less choice in the matter (she would be living in your heart whether you wanted her to or not).)

Which is what I hope

There are actually a couple of problems with this. The first is that you can't really "hope" just by itself. You need to "hope for" something or "hope that" something happens, so you almost always need a preposition following that verb.

The other issue here is that you generally only hope for things which haven't already happened yet. Since you are saying that the girl is already in your heart, then it's not really something you hope for anymore. What you probably want to say in this case is that you would hope for it (if it weren't already true):

The girl is living in my heart, which is what I would hope for.

Or possibly, if you wanted to express that you wouldn't want to hope for anything more than that (or you don't believe if you did that it would come true):

The girl is living in my heart, which is all I could hope for.

(You could also use "want" instead of "hope for". In the first sentence it makes it a little softer. In the second sentence it makes it more clear that you have everything you want (whereas "all I could hope for" could be taken to mean you might want more, but just don't think it would ever happen).

Leaving out "what"

Instead of "which is what I would hope for", you could technically say "which I would hope for" instead (leaving out the "is what"), but it does change the feeling of the sentence, and would probably end up being awkward to most readers. The main problem is that the phrase "I would hope" is usually used in that way when somebody doesn't know whether something is true, but if it were true, they would hope something else to be true as well:

I really like mustard, which I would hope that they provide if they're going to serve us hamburgers.

Given this, using "which I would hope for" in this context would usually cause a reader to ask "if what happens?"

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