If you want to mention that "william does not possess a book" or ask a question about it which negative form do you prefer to use:

  1. william does not have a book
  2. william has not a book

For questions:

  1. does william have a book ?
  2. has william a book ?

In both cases I myself prefer the first one. Tell me what you think .

  • You missed out William has no book - or even, for an emphatic refutation, William does have no book. But I agree with @Rathony, and have voted to migrate. Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 16:56
  • unlike you i believe asking simple questions is as important as asking the complicated ones . however in my profile i have mentioned that im from iran and not a native
    – sina
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 16:58
  • @sina Just to clarify what Ranthony is saying: he is emphatically not saying that simple questions are unimportant. In fact, they're so important, we have set up an entire site to address them. So, in order to have all of them in one place, and so that everyone who takes an interest in them (because they are interesting) has one place to go, we ask that they all be addressed to our sister site, ELL.se. This site, ELU.se, is for a different (and equally interesting) type of question. And, FYI, Ranthony is not a native speaker either, and he's active & enjoys a high reputation both places.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 19:15

2 Answers 2


You should bear in mind that there are different variants of English in the world. Whereas

Does William have a book? He doesn't have a book.

is used in American English,they use

Has William got a book? He hasn't got a book.

in Great Britain.

  • It's a bit more complicated than that, but basically this is right. When "have" is used as an auxiliary, it patterns as an auxiliary everywhere: I haven't seen, Have you seen? When it is used as a full verb, there has been a transition from this pattern (Have you any?) to behaving like a normal verb (Do you have any?). This transition has gone further in AmE than in BrE, but both forms are found on both sides of the Atlantic.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 11:28

Both no.1 sentences are correct. Have in these sentences are used as verbs. That's why both needed does (helping verb) with them. If you indicate possession, then have is used as verb. So whenever you are using the negative or question form of an affirmative sentence, do/does is used depending on subject. Have is also used as auxiliary verb or helping verb in past/present/future perfect and perfect continuous tenses.

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