I don’t have <one><it>.

JuliaAlexandra

Senior Member
Russian
Dear forum,

If someone asked me if I have a certain thing (which I'm supposed to have, but I don't), which would be the right way to answer?
1. No, I don't have it. Where can I buy one?
2. No, I don't have one. Where can I buy it?

For me, they mean the same, and I could use them interchangeably. Please, help.

Thank you!
 
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    ...
    If someone asked me if I have a certain thing (which I'm supposed to have, but I don't), which would be the right way to answer?
    1. No, I don't have it. Where can I buy one?
    2. No, I don't have one. Where can I buy it?
    ...
    I probably should wait for the information asked for by heypresto and you should have provided it. However I'll anticipate the difficulty as I know this touches on a problem common to Russian learners of English.

    Scenario 1

    Julie: John, do you have that screwdriver I lent you the other day?

    John: No, I don't have it [because I lost it] Where can I buy one [to replace it]?
    ('it' refers to a specific item that has been mentioned before or is common knowledge, whereas 'one' refers to an unspecified instantiation of the item.)


    Scenario 2

    Julie: John, do you have a screwdriver that I could borrow? (an unspecified one that may not exist)
    John: No, I don't have one.
    Julie: Where can I buy one? (an unspecified one)
    John: There is a hardware store just down the road.

    ___________________

    Conclusion


    In general, 'it' follows the same rules as 'the' and 'one' follows the same rules as 'a'.
     

    JuliaAlexandra

    Senior Member
    Russian
    What is the 'certain thing'? And how is the question worded?
    Oh, sorry. Here's the situation: I've come to another city and want to use the public transport there. My friend asks me, "Do you have a transport card? You are supposed to have it/one (another doubt :)) here?"

    Now that I have read Chasint's post, I realise it falls under the second scenario, isn't it?
     

    JuliaAlexandra

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thank you very much, Chasint! :thumbsup:
    I've provided the context above. It looks like it's the 2nd scenario since it's an unspecified card.

    So, when we speak about a specific thing, it's alway 'it'. When we speak about something unspecified (one thing of many other things of the same type), we should use 'one'. Is that correct?

    'Do you have a transport card? - No, I don't have one. Where can I buy one?' Is it grammatical now?
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    That's right. 'One' is correct here.

    We would more likely, however, just answer 'No' (or 'Yes'). There's no need to say 'I don't have one' (or 'I have one').
     
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