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Hello,

Which grammar rule explains the use of 'have' in the first sentence and 'having' in the last two sentences?

1.I have a car.
2.I am having dinner,
3.He was standing and having a smoke.

A Russian textbook says that when the verb 'to have' is used in it's first meaning (for example 'to have dinner,' 'to have a smoke' etc) 'having' is used instead of 'have'. Some English learners I know find this rule rather confusing. Some of them say that in this phrase 'I have a car' the verb expresses the same idea as in 'I am having a smoke or dinner.Emotion: speechless
Thanks
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Comments  
The sentence "I am having a car." means that the person has a car but can also stop having it (which sometimes happens in life, which is not always a box of chocolates).

The sentence "I have a car." means that the person has a car. Period.
Nina_Nia1.I have a car.
2.I am having dinner,
3.He was standing and having a smoke.
1.I have a car. (possession. I own a car. The car is mine.)
2.I am having dinner, (eating. I am eating dinner.)
3.He was standing and having a smoke. (smoking. He was smoking a cigar/cigarette.)

The verb have is not used in the continuous forms, when it means "possess" or "experience a condition"

I have a car
X I am having a car.

I have a cold.
X I am having a cold.

The verb have is used in continuous forms when it expresses an activity:

I have lunch at noon. (have = eat)
I am having lunch now.
He was having a smoke. (have a smoke = smoke)

The little girl had a fit when her mother took her doll away.. (to cry, scream, and behave badly)
She was having a fit.
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In the first sentence,you mean"you own a car",it's a fact,or a status.
and in the last two sentences ,the word "have" means "eat" or "enjoy",the action in happening.The "have" use progressive tense here.
Hi,

Are you asking about grammar, or about the meaning of 'have'?
Which grammar rule explains the use of 'have' in the first sentence and 'having' in the last two sentences?

1.I have a car. This is Simple Present tense.

2.I am having dinner, This is Present Continuous tense, used here to indicate the action is happening right now.
It is also possible to say 'I have dinner', if you wish eg to discuss your schedule.

3.He was standing and having a smoke. Same comment as for #2.

A Russian textbook says that when the verb 'to have' is used in it's first meaning (for example 'to have dinner,' 'to have a smoke' etc) 'having' is used instead of 'have'. Some English learners I know find this rule rather confusing. Some of them say that in this phrase 'I have a car' the verb expresses the same idea as in 'I am having a smoke or dinner.

The verb 'have' has a number of rather idiomatic meanings.
eg have a smoke - enjoy, experience
eg have dinner - eat
eg have a car - possess - Continuous tense is not commonly normally used with this meaning.

Clive
Anonymous The sentence "I am having a car." means that the person has a car but can also stop having it (which sometimes happens in life, which is not always a box of chocolates).
Dear Anonymous Poster,
I think you may have mixed that up a bit. Emotion: drinks?
John
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'to have' is a state verb. So if you use the continuous form, the meaning changes.

to have a car - possession

having dinner/having a smoke - you're about to have dinner, to have a smoke. You're in the middle of doing it.

LS
JohnParis Dear Anonymous Poster,I think you may have mixed that up a bit. ?John
Right, John, only Mama always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them.
Anyway, "I have a car" sounds better than "I am having a car."
Also, "I am having a car."sounds better than "I will be having a car (may be)." and much better than "I was having a car."

While I have read too many articles that say 'have' is for something that you own <She has a car> or for things that may last for an indefinite time < She has a head ache>. And you'd use 'having' with something that lasts for a short while < She is having a heart attack>.

She has free time vs She is having free time .Which of these is right?

free time isn't something that last indefinitely so 'She is having free time' seems right. But 'She has free time' sounds right.

What rule works here?

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