Grammar Rules

Grammar Rules for IELTS:


The use of “Had”.

I had a blue and red pen.
She had a good teacher last year.
He had a dog.
We had a big dinner.
They’d money.
You had English classes two years ago.
Had Julia too much work?
I had a test this morning.
They had lunch at noon.
We had homework last night.
We had leftover tonight.
The whole family had the flu.
Hadn’t The child a nightmare?
Audrey had a cold.
Sophie had a dinner at my house.
Had He a heart attack?


The use of “Has and Have”.

We use “has and have” to show possession.


Have is used with some pronouns and plural nouns:
I have a great English teacher.
You have toothpaste on your chin.
We have a meeting at 12.

Nurses have a difficult job.


Has is used with the third person singular. For example:
She has a great personality.
He has a new haircut.
The washing machine has a leak in it.
It has a hole near the door.


I have = I’ve
you have = you’ve
we have = we’ve
they have = They’ve
he has = he’s
it has = it’s

negative contractions

has not = hasn’t
have not = haven’t
had not = hadn’t

‘have’ and ‘has’ in questions

Have you been to Australia?
Has Andrew left yet?
Who has my pen?
Has anyone seen my mobile phone?

‘have got’ and ‘have’

Both ‘have got’ and ‘have’ mean the same thing. There is no difference.

I have got an i-phone.’ = ‘I have an i-phone.
You have got a message.’ = You have a message.
She has got no time to sleep.’ =’She has no time to sleep.


The use of “Could have”.

We can use ‘could have’  to talk about something somebody was capable of doing but didn’t do.

  • I could have gone to Oxford University but I preferred Harvard.
  • She could have married him but she didn’t want to.
  • They could have bought a house here 20 years ago but chose not to.

Often, there is a sense of criticism.

  • You could have phoned me to let me know.
  • They could have helped me instead of just sitting there.
  •  I could have done more to help you. Sorry.

We can use ‘couldn’t have’ to talk about something we were not capable of doing.

  • I couldn’t have managed without you.
  • I couldn’t have got the job. He was always going to appoint his nephew.
  • I couldn’t have enjoyed myself more. Thank you for a lovely day.

We can use ‘could have’ to speculate about what has happened. (We can also use ‘may have’ or ‘might have’ in these situations.)

  • She could have taken the earlier train.
  • Simon could have told her.
  • They could have overheard what we said.

We can also use ‘can have’ to speculate about what has happened but only in questions and negative sentences and with words such as ‘hardly’, ‘never’ and ‘only’.

  • Can she have forgotten about our meeting?
  • He can’t have seen us.
  • They can hardly have thought that I was not interested in the job.

We can also use ‘could have’ to speculate about something that didn’t happen.

  • You could have broken your neck, jumping out the window like that.
  • He could have hurt somebody, throwing a bottle out of the window like that.
  • I could have done well in my exam if I’d worked harder.

You can also use ‘could have’ to talk about possible present situations that have not happened.

  • I could have been earning a lot as an accountant but the work was just too boring.
  • He could have been Prime Minister now but he got involved in a big financial scandal.
  • They could have been the market leaders now if they had taken his advice.