He …. a mill in this town.


a) have b) has c) is having

My approach:

I am confused between "has" Vs "is having"

I choose 'has' because because it denotes the action that he has a mill in the past and he is still having it.

Am i right in my approach? Please correct me if I am wrong.

2 Answers 2


It seems possible that there is some confusion here between have used as an auxiliary verb, and have used as a standalone verb. You say that you "choose has because because it denotes the action that he has a mill in the past and he is still having it." That would be the case if the sentence were

He has owned a mill.

However, in this case, have is a standalone verb indicating possession. Just replace it with possess or own and you will understand the correct usage. So, yes, (b) is correct, but perhaps not for the reason that you suggested. In this case, has is simple present, indicating that this individual currently owns a mill. Other examples of have conjugated as a verb in its own right:

He had a mill...but he may not any longer

He has had a mill...for a while now.

Note that the second sentence is what you were talking about: he had a mill in the past, and he still has it. As well, we do not usually say that he "is still having it." When it comes to verbs that refer to states, not actions, the present is generally preferred over the present continuous. By contrast, as you probably are aware, the present continuous is ubiquitous when it comes to current actions, and in such cases substituting the simple present may well imply habit rather than current behavior: I eat vs. I am eating.


The OP is right; we should say "He has a mill in this town". The verb have in the sentence is a stative verb meaning to own.

As we don't use a state verb in the progressive, you cannot say " He is having a mill".

  • However, talking about an ongoing process, it would be correct to say "He is having a mill built in this town" before the new mill was completed. Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 11:10

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