The question was only posted 8 months ago, but in that short space of time it has attracted over 20,000 views.

"Has" vs. "have"

The title must be spot on for visitors looking for an answer. It is simplicity itself, and maybe the question should have been closed for lack of research, but it's here now.

The question has only one upvote, and two answers. the third answer is a duplicate and must be deleted.

What should be done?

  • Do we leave the OP's question as it is?
  • Do we edit the body, include a tiny bit of research, and make it more "interesting" or "helpful"?
  • Do we place a large bounty on it to entice users to create a more exhaustive answer?
  • Do we upvote the answers that have been submitted?
  • Do we just forget about it?

There is the potential to create a canonical answer here. Do we ignore this opportunity?

P.S. The third "answer" has been deleted.


In nine days the question has attracted a further 1,000 views. The lack of response, and general discussion, is a tad disappointing I admit. So, I guess the more experienced users, and answerers prefer to leave the question, and the answers as they stand.

  • 1
    The existing answers address the question adequately. What would a canonical answer contain that they already don't?
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 27, 2016 at 7:38
  • We could just write a meta question about it and see if that motivates someone to write a canonical answer. (Oh, wait, you just did that – thanks!)
    – J.R. Mod
    Oct 27, 2016 at 8:06
  • @J.R. I was thinking of offering a bounty for a more complete, or better presented answer. Then again, if nothing more can be added, couldn't the two answers be upvoted more?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 27, 2016 at 9:15
  • @M.A.R. None of the answers mention "got" for instances, which allows the following question forms; e.g. "Have you got a job?" and "Has s/he got a job?" Compared to "Do you have a job?" and "Does he have a job?" where the main verb have is not conjugated.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 27, 2016 at 9:19
  • 1
    Not sure, but I think that'll derail from the main point of the question. I think the focus is and should be on singular vs. plural, but that's just my opinion. Let's see what others think. For now I'm upvoting this to give it more visibility.
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 27, 2016 at 9:21
  • 1
    @M.A.R. not to be picky but it's not really a question of singular vs plural, the subject "I" is singular, but the verb doesn't change in I have (got) several bills to pay And the OPìs question is so open ended, much more could be added. What about What smart phone could he have? Have and not has is used.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 27, 2016 at 11:03
  • I know, but I didn't have a very good label in mind to use. You got what I mean, and that's all that matters.
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 27, 2016 at 11:06
  • Related: meta.ell.stackexchange.com/q/754
    – ColleenV
    Oct 27, 2016 at 17:35
  • The question really ought to have been closed under the "Details, please" rubric. There's no there there. Dept of the Bleedin Obvious: this is a Google-driven phenomenon because the question title is a concise form of a frequently searched question (see this search) and is likely attributable to the burgeoning number of folks trying to learn our poor, uninflected ol polyglot tongue. It would be marvelous if we could somehow convert some of that traffic into other questions, though. Oct 30, 2016 at 22:16
  • 3
    @P.E.Dant brilliantly expressed, and you're right, but seeing as the question's here, why not entice those visitors to stay a little longer? And one way of doing that is by supplying one or more exemplary answers. Some of the best answers on EL&U were on the most basic questions.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 30, 2016 at 22:35


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