do you have time / have you time?

guelder rose

Member
Ukrainian, Russian
I wonder what is the difference in the usage of the two variants of the sentence (and all similar examples):

1. do you have time?
2. have you time?

Is the difference the following: the first one is grammatically correct, and the second - a colloqial variant?

I know that the usage also depends on Br/Am E. Where which variant is used?

Thank you!
 
  • elanora

    Senior Member
    USA
    English - US
    The 2nd in AE sounds weird and awkward and I've never heard it from a native. The first is perfectly common.
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    I wonder what is the difference in the usage of the two variants of the sentence (and all similar examples):

    1. do you have time?
    2. have you time?

    Is the difference the following: the first one is grammatically correct, and the second - a colloqial variant?

    I know that the usage also depends on Br/Am E. Where which variant is used?

    Thank you!

    I would have thought 2. should read 'have you got (the) time? (BE)

    Then both would be correct and common usage. However, if you add the 'the' in the second one, you are probably asking what the time is rather than whether you have the time to do something. It would depend on the context of the conversation.
     

    guelder rose

    Member
    Ukrainian, Russian
    Thank you, elanora!

    So, is the 2nd variant possible in BrE?

    What about this example:

    3. Have you any engagements for tomorrow evening?

    When can 'have' be used before the subjects in questions? (in the meaning of 'possession', not as an auxiliary verb in Present Perfect, of course).
     

    guelder rose

    Member
    Ukrainian, Russian
    Porteno, do you mean that 'have you time' doesn't sound natural, and 'have you the time' does?
    (I have understood that they are asking about completely different things)
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    Porteno, do you mean that 'have you time' doesn't sound natural, and 'have you the time' does?
    (I have understood that they are asking about completely different things)

    What I was trying to say was that 'have you time?' without 'got' doesn't sound natural in BE. 'Have you got the time?' can be ambiguous, i.e. it can mean 'do you have time to do something?' or 'what time of the day is it?', depending on the context.

    There's always the old joke:

    'Have you got the time?'
    'Yes, if you've got the money?'

    In case you don't know that one, the questioner is a prostitute!
     

    guelder rose

    Member
    Ukrainian, Russian
    Thank you, Porteno! :D
    I think one can say that they know a foreign language when they can understand its humour. I must say without false modesty, I guessed what the joke was about ;)
    Old jokes are especially important - they are a part of the culture! So, thank you again for this invaluable contribution!
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    Thank you, Porteno! :D
    I think one can say that they know a foreign language when they can understand its humour. I must say without false modesty, I guessed what the joke was about ;)
    Old jokes are especially important - they are a part of the culture! So, thank you again for this invaluable contribution!

    Congratulations and thanks to you, too. I fully agree that to know a foreign language well, you also need to understand the culture which, of course, includes jokes of all colours!:)
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I personally find nothing amiss about the second sentence although the first would be more commonly heard. The problem, once again, is the lack of context. If we are talking about time to accomplish something, you could say:

    1. "Do you have time to help me with my homework?" AND
    2. "Have you time to help me with my homework?"

    I also don't see the necessity of adding "the" to the mix.

    If we are talking about the time of day, we would add "the" in the first sentence ie:

    1. Do you have the time? I have an appointment at 3:00" AND
    2. Have you the time? I have an appointment at 3:00"

    I've heard the second sentence used reasonably often, in both contexts, mostly by BE-speakers.
     

    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    The real issue here hasn't been dealt with:

    'Have you X' was in the past a very commonly used construction. But in recent times it has become rather archaic for younger speakers in the UK, and is almost extinct in the USA. However in some areas of the British isles it continues to be used. In Ireland for example it is considered entirely correct. I might be wrong but I wouldn't be surprised if it were more common in places with a Celtic connection such as Canada, Wales and Scotland, than it is in England or the US, not necessarily because of any linguistic reason but because such places tend to be a little more conservative in our dialects (and also in places with large Irish community like Canada and the West of Scotland).
     
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