have not vs do not have

Have not VERSUS Do not Have: What’s the Difference?

Have you ever wondered what the difference between HAVE NOT and DO NOT HAVE was? Do you think you’ve ever confused the two and made a mistake while using English? If you have made the mistake of confusing the two, you’re not alone!

In today’s American English lesson, let’s review have not VS do not have  so you can comfortably and confidently use them in your next English conversations.

*NOTE: This is an American English lesson and may vary from British English usage*

Have not VS Do not Have

do not have + noun

This sentence structure is a negative form of the simple present. It’s used to say that you don’t have possession of something.


I do not have a dog.

I do not have black hair.

She does not have 3 cats. He does not have a red car.

This is the negative form of “to have + noun”; for example, I have a dog. She has 3 cats.

have not + past participle

This sentence structure is a negative form of the present perfect. “Have not” is an auxiliary of the present perfect tense, and it’s used to say that you don’t have the experience of doing something, or you have not (yet) finished an action. (*read more about the present perfect by clicking here.)


I have not visited Japan.

I have not finished this book (yet).

She has not seen that movie. He has not eaten fish.

Be Careful! Mistakes to Avoid

The most common mistake is using “have not” instead of the negative present tense structure “do not have”. Do not follow “have not” with a noun  →  I have not a dog. I haven’t black hair.

So remember, the word HAVE can be used as a verb or an auxiliary. Pay attention to the structure, the word following HAVE, and what you want to express or emphasize.

Practice Makes Perfect

Think about 3 things you have or own and write those down (EX: I have 2 cats.) Then write them in the negative form (EX: I do not have 2 cats.)

Then think about 3 things you do not have or own but you want. Write down those 3 sentences like this to practice: I do not have ______, but I would like to have it.

Finally, answer the following questions using the “I have not _____” structure:

What is something you have not eaten?

Where is a place you have not visited?

Who is a celebrity you have not met?


You can always practice making your own sentences below, and good luck!


Until next time,

Happy Studying! ♥

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  1. Erik on June 3, 2023 at 2:54 pm

    Amazing, but Morrisey in the song of the Smiths calles “there Is a light that never goes down” say. “Because I haven’t got one anymore”.
    I am Confused because I don’t know if the word “got” Is used as the past participle of “get” or just Is used as auxiliar like in the next sentencie. ” I have got a house”

    • Jennifer Nascimento on October 2, 2023 at 1:08 pm

      My advice: NEVER use musical lyrics are a grammar lesson because the ART will always override the grammatical accuracy. Many artists don’t use correct language so it flows better. The Smiths are also British English speakers so that differs from American English

  2. Mohammed on May 10, 2023 at 5:37 am

    Can I say?
    I haven’t the time to go to the party

  3. Cesar on July 26, 2022 at 6:34 am

    I needed this explanation to understand this topic.
    Thanks Jeniffer for the lesson.

  4. Ildar on April 3, 2022 at 10:44 pm

    Thank you Jennifer so much!

    • cheikh on January 5, 2023 at 5:06 am

      Very helpful. Very simple and clear. Thanks a lot.

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