I am having $200 / a headache

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aasim84

Member
India - Urdu and English
Hello everyone,

I have a doubt about the usage of the word "having" (I used inverted commas/double quotes to emphasize the word having). Being an Indian, I have realized that I have a lot of Indianism in my language. What I mean by Indianism is that I think in Hindi/Urdu and speak that in English which a lot of times turns out to be grammatically incorrect. We Indians tend to use the gerund form of the verb almost everywhere. For example: "I am having $200" or "I am having a headache".

I am not sure how and when the word having can be used.

As far as I know, usage of having is correct in the following sentence: I am having dinner.

Please help me understand this.

Thank you. :)
 
  • ride7359

    Senior Member
    To be + present participle (-ing form) stressing the present, ongoing nature of an action.

    I am having dinner is correct because the ongoing action is stressed. It is what I am doing right now.

    I am having a headache/$200 is not correct because it is a description of a condition, not an action.

    "To have" in English often describes a condition - to have a cold, a cough, doubts, reservations, misgivings, feelings, etc. There are probably many more that I can't think of at the moment.

    "Having" might also be used when one is undergoing something - He is having a heart attack, she is having a baby.

    There are probably others I can't think of - I am having a brain cramp!
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The terms ride7359 didn't find are dynamic and stative.

    I am having a meal / a baby / a heart attack / a brain cramp are all changing over time - they are dynamic.
    I have a headache / a cold / a cough / £200 describe a fixed condition - they are stative and cannot be used with I am having.

    You can, of course, also say I have a baby, but that has a completely different meaning from I am having a baby.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I used to have frequent migraines, and I can assure you they are not static. I often had to leave company meetings and gave the explanation "I'm having (I'm in the middle of) a migraine". However, I accept that this is probably the exception to the rule cited
    "I have toothache" "I have stomach ache" etc.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I used to have frequent migraines, and I can assure you they are not static. I often had to leave company meetings and gave the explanation "I'm having (I'm in the middle of) a migraine". However, I accept that this is probably the exception to the rule cited
    "I have toothache" "I have stomach ache" etc.
    I would have no hesitation in agreeing with you - migraine was not one of my examples, and I still have the memory of having them in my teens.
     

    dec-sev

    Senior Member
    Russian
    What about a situation like this one:
    Peter invites Mike to play football but Mike says that he has a headache. He adds that he has just taken some aspirin and if the ache has gone soon they will go and play. A half an hour later Peter calls Mike agian and asks: "Are you still having the headache?"
    Is it correct to use the progressive in this context?
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I agree with Ceremoniar that you will find this usage (with the gerund, similar to the "Indian usage" from the OP) in the USA. I would consider it overall incorrect, but it's not unheard of. We do have to let people speak.

    @dec-sev, I'd say: Do you still have a headache?
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I would stick with "Do you still have a headache?" "Have you still got a headache?'
    Yes, to the extent that if you say, 'She's having a headache', we might read more into the sentence and maybe imagine that she's feigning a headache. ('She isn't coming down for dinner. She's "having" a headache.')
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Yes, to the extent that if you say, 'She's having a headache', we might read more into the sentence and maybe imagine that she's feigning a headache. ('She isn't coming down for dinner. She's "having" a headache.')
    Can you please explain how you used "is having a headache"?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Julian Stuart has already done this in #4.

    To have is a pro-verb - it is used in place of more precise verbs.
    To have =
    to possess, in which the continuous form is not used.
    to experience, in which the continuous form is used.
    to consume, in which the continuous form is used.
    etc.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    I read in threads that we can say "I'm having migraine" but not "I'm having a headache". I wanted to know why natkretep said "she's having a headache".
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It isn't a normal way of talking about a plain old headache.

    She has/she's got a dreadful headache.:tick:
    She is having one of her headaches again:rolleyes:.:tick:
     
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    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Idiomatically, a migraine is classed with diseases - I have measles, I have smallpox, etc. have = to suffer from -> having = am suffering from
    Headache is considered a state and have is therefore stative and not used in the continuous.

    Although it is rarely said of oneself, the meaning of "have" can change and allow grassy's version.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Julian Stuart has already done this in #4.

    To have is a pro-verb - it is used in place of more precise verbs.
    To have =
    to possess, in which the continuous form is not used.
    to experience, in which the continuous form is used.
    to consume, in which the continuous form is used.
    etc.
    It isn't a normal way of talking about a plain old headache.

    She has a dreadful headache.:tick:
    She is having one of her headaches again:rolleyes:.:tick:
    Thank you both very much :)
    In Natkretep, does it mean "she's experiencing"?
    Idiomatically, a migraine is classed with diseases - I have measles, I have smallpox, etc. have = to suffer from -> having = am suffering from
    Headache is considered a state and have is therefore stative and not used in the continuous.

    Although it is rarely said of oneself, the meaning of "have" can change and allow grassy's version.
    Thanks a lot PaulQ,
    Although it is rarely said of oneself, the meaning of "have" can change and allow grassy's version.
    Which version, please?
     
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    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Having" can also be used to indicate current intentions, plans, arrangements for future activities or events:

    I'm having a party next week.
    She's having surgery next month.
    I'm having a plumber come over to inspect the drains.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    "Having" can also be used to indicate current intentions, plans, arrangements for future activities or events:

    I'm having a party next week.
    She's having surgery next month.
    I'm having a plumber come over to inspect the drains.
    Thanks a lot
    Can a husband say "I'm having a baby" or just his wife can?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Can a husband say "I'm having a baby" or just his wife can?
    What meaning of "to have" are you using? Do you mean "I'm having a baby" = "I am pregnant"? - if so, I think the answer is obvious.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    What meaning of "to have" are you using? Do you mean "I'm having a baby" = "I am pregnant"? - if so, I think the answer is obvious.
    Yes I meant this meaning. Thanks a lot :) :)
     
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    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    In Natkretep, does it mean "she's experiencing"?
    I think others have commented on this, but since I have been mentioned by name I should confirm that this often means that she is feigning a headache. You'll notice that I use 'is feigning' in the progressive. (See veli's Post 16.) The use of the progressive indicates that it is not a 'normal' headache.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    I think others have commented on this, but since I have been mentioned by name I should confirm that this often means that she is feigning a headache. You'll notice that I use 'is feigning' in the progressive. (See veli's Post 16.) The use of the progressive indicates that it is not a 'normal' headache.
    Sorry, but Velisarius says "It isn't a normal way of talking about a plain old headache.", but if we talk about a plain old headache the use of present progressive shows they are experiencing one of her headaches and it is a normal way (I think I read this in another thread), no?
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Then you wouldn't use the progressive. For a plain old headache, you'd just say 'She has a headache.'
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    (OK. And maybe I need to say that if you speak Indian English, it might be a normal way of referring to a headache. But not other varieties of English.)
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    (OK. And maybe I need to say that if you speak Indian English, it might be a normal way of referring to a headache. But not other varieties of English.)
    I think just Indians speak Indian English. :) Thank you again :)
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    It would more usual to say:
    My wife/partner is having a baby.
    OR:
    My wife/partner and I are having a baby.
    Thanks a lot :)
    Can't the husband say "I'm having a baby" to mean "I'm going to have a baby"?
    ... and Pakistanis and Bengalis and people who learned English from them and people who learned English by watching dubbed Bollywood films and ...
    I don't think anyone wants to learn English by Indians and watching their movies. (since we know their language isn't English)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thanks a lot :)
    Can't the husband say "I'm having a baby" to mean "I'm going to have a baby"?

    I don't think anyone wants to learn English by Indians and watching their movies. (since we know their language isn't English)
    The husband can say "We're having a baby." Saying either sentence with "I" would only be used as part of a joke.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I don't think anyone wants to learn English by Indians and watching their movies. (since we know their language isn't English)
    Hindi and English are the official languages of India. Many people in India are completely fluent even though they say things like "I am having a brother." and "Do the necessary."
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    The husband can say "We're having a baby." Saying either sentence with "I" would only be used as part of a joke.
    But I think there are situations that it can be said with "I".
    Hindi and English are the official languages of India. Many people in India are completely fluent even though they say things like "I am having a brother." and "Do the necessary."
    official language is different from native language :)
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thanks a lot :)
    Can't the husband say "I'm having a baby" to mean "I'm going to have a baby"?
    Myridon's example, "We're having a baby" is normal these days. In earlier decades, this wasn't normally used. The use of "we" is an effort to be inclusive and to recognize a father's role in the birth of his child. People weren't as concerned about doing this when I was a kid. "My wife's having a baby" was far more likely. In this use, "having a baby" is restricted to "giving birth to a baby." Of course, fathers can't do that.:D
     
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    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    :eek:
    American English, British Engish and Indian English are all forms of the English language! Hindi is not.
    Myridon's example, "We're having a baby" is normal these days. In earlier decades, this wasn't normally used. The use of "we" has is an effort to be inclusive and to recognize a father's role in the birth of his child. People weren't as concerned about doing this when I was a kid. "My wife's having a baby" was more likely. In this use, "having a baby" is restricted to "giving birth to a baby." Of course, fathers can't do that.:D
    Thanks a lot :)
     
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    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Before
    They intended to English be the official language here. If it was, now we would have Iranian English:D?
    Quite possibly, if the British had colonized Persia the way they colonized (what became) India and Pakistan:D
    I don't think anyone wants to learn English by Indians and watching their movies. (since we know their language isn't English)
    You seemed to be suggesting that Indian English is not Engish - that was why I responded.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Quite possibly, if the British had colonized Persia the way they colonized (what became) India and Pakistan:D

    You seemed to be suggesting that Indian English is not Engish - that was why I responded.

    Why Indians are studying English:):eek:
     
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    Hans in Texas

    Senior Member
    US English
    Linkway in #19 pointed out the causative usage of have: to cause someone to do something, whether by demand, contract or request.

    I'm having my house painted. = I'm having the Rightway Company paint my house.
    The fire department(brigade) had the street blocked. = The firemen had the police block the street.
    We'll have the guests arrive around five (o'clock), then we'll eat at seven.
     
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