To Have and To Be

I teach writing and grammar, so I spend a lot of time wondering about the language and how we use it. As I writer, I spend a lot of time looking and listening at how we use the language.



And while the irregular verbs “to be” and “to have” have been around a long time, we use them differently, and that makes a big difference in how we think.

Consider these sentences:

“I have a cold.”

“I have had cancer.”

“She has the makings of a great writer.”

Then consider these sentences:

“She is stupid.”

“He is weak.”

“You are a bad writer.”

It’s so interesting that we shift from owning or having something to being something–but when we are something, it is a part of our very makeup. We don’t have to think of ourselves as being cancer, but weaknesses? We own ’em.

Something to think about.

Note: Congratulations to Marge Pelligrino who wins the copy of Handcrafted Jounrals, Albums, Scrapbooks and More–Congratulations, Marge! And thanks for reading my blog. Send me your mailing address [QuinnCreative [at] Yahoo [dot] com] and the book will be on the way.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer in love with the language.

2 thoughts on “To Have and To Be

  1. Took a class once, in what I forget, but the teacher said something I’ve never forgotten. He said, We think that if we have the things that writer’s have and do the things that writers do, then we will be writers. Really if we are writers then we will do the things that writers do and have the things that writers have. It is be, do , have not have, do be.

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