General English


  • verb to own something, or to be able to give somebody something
  • verb to take something such as a meal or a bath

Origin & History of “have”

Have and its Germanic cousins, German haben, Dutch hebben, Swedish ha, and Danish have, come from a prehistoric Germanic ancestor *khabēn. this was probably a product of Indo-European *kap-, which was also the source of English heave and Latin capere ‘seize’ (whence English capable, capture, etc). In all the Germanic languages it shares the function of denoting ‘possession’ with that of forming the perfect tense. (It appears, incidentally, to have no etymological connection with the superficially similar Latin habēre ‘have’.).