He has not a pencil or a pen.

< Previous | Next >

hboo

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello,

Here is a sentence from my English learning book:

"He has not a pencil or a pen."

Is the sentence grammatical? I'm familiar with the sentences such as "He has not any pencil." or "He has no pencil."

Thanks.
 
  • hboo

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you very much, panjandrum.

    If the sentence in the original post was "He has not a pen."(without the second part) would it be idomatic this time? Some other examples:"He has not a brother.". "He has not a gun." - are they correct?

    Thanks.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Thank you very much, panjandrum.

    If the sentence in the original post was "He has not a pen."(without the second part) would it be idomatic this time? Thanks.
    That, too, sounds strange and perhaps archaic.
    I would say "He does not have a pen," or, with a contraction, "He doesn't have a pen."
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    If you reduce not to n't, the version produced might be possible, especially from an older British speaker: 'He hasn't a pen'. I think if you tag on 'on him', that will sound better: 'He hasn't a pen on him'.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top