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At Approach, many of our students are from Brazil, so today I’d like to focus on one common mistake Brazilians struggle with when learning English. I hear students say…

 

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“No have parking.”

“In Boston, have a lot of universities.”

“Have a bank on this street?”

“Have enough chairs?”

 

The problem is that this is how Portuguese talks about things that exist or don’t exist. In English, we use “There is…” or “There are…” to talk about things that exist or don’t exist. We say…

 

“There is no parking.”

“In Boston, there are a lot of universities.”

“Is there a bank on this street?”

“Are there enough chairs?”

 

We use a Subject with the verb “have” to talk about things that we possess.

 

“Boston doesn’t have enough parking.”

“Boston has a lot of universities.”

“Does this street have a bank?”

“Do you have enough chairs?”

“I have a blue car.”

“He has a new job.”

 

I’ll finish with one more example. Think about your fridge. What is there in your fridge? What do you have?

In my fridge, there is milk, water, chicken, and broccoli. There are eggs, carrots, and bell peppers. I have enough food to make a salad!

 

What about you?

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