4

Do you have a book?
Have you a book?

What's the difference between them?
What kinds of verbs "do" and "have" are there?

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    The two statements are semantically the same. In American English, the first example is far more common.
    – Era
    Dec 4, 2015 at 19:53

1 Answer 1

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In the past, it was possible to form a question by simply moving the verb ahead of the subject, like in your second example. If you read Shakespeare, you'll find many such turns of phrase.

But what see I? No Thisbe do I see!
(from Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 5)

Some of that is still preserved in environments that are based on long-standing traditions. It is customary in a U.S. court, to ask:

"Mr. Smith, what say you?" instead of "What do you say?"

That said, the auxiliary verbs have taken over completely in common everyday speech. It is always "Do you[...]" rather than the other thing, except in some isolated areas over in England, where instead of asking

"Do you have a toothbrush?"

they just might ask you

"Have you a toothbrush?"

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    British English speakers might also say "Have you got a toothbrush?" Dec 5, 2015 at 5:42
  • @200_success: Yes. And?
    – Ricky
    Dec 5, 2015 at 5:42

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