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On StackOverflow I often see this:

I’m having a code which (does such and such, followed by a fragment of code)

Is I am having a code grammatically correct? I think it is incorrect, and that it should be, I have some code, but I continue to see it more and more frequently.

Is it grammatically correct, or is it a common error? If it is correct, why?

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  • In what context do you hear this?
    – Squazic
    Jan 29, 2013 at 22:51
  • @Squazic Forms like this appear quite frequently on Stack Overflow.
    – ctype.h
    Jan 29, 2013 at 22:54
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    As in, can you give some more context like examples and such?
    – Squazic
    Jan 29, 2013 at 23:06
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    Personally I would write "I have this piece (bit) of code" or "I have this code".
    – Barranka
    Jan 29, 2013 at 23:34
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    I've taken the liberty of incorporating an SO example into your question - something concrete like this provides context which will avoid confusion. Also, it's conventional in discussion of language to italicize examples being discussed rather than to enclose them in quotes; certainly you don't need both. Jan 30, 2013 at 1:11

1 Answer 1

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"I am having a code" doesn't make sense, whereas "I have some code" does make sense.

"A code" might be used for, say, an identification code, which is unique, but "code" as used here more likely means "a piece of code" like a script, or a coherent block of computer instructions.

"Am having" implies that something is taking place over a span of (present) time, while "have" implies possession; possession is the more likely meaning here. "I am having a problem with this code" expresses a logical situation where the "am having" construction makes sense.

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  • I think "a code" is sometimes used by people who have difficulty with uncountable nouns, such as native speakers of Japanese. Jan 30, 2013 at 2:53
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    "I'm having a code" is what a computer virus might say... nom nom nom...
    – SF.
    Jan 30, 2013 at 8:05

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