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For "Habēsne epistolas? - Have you got the letters?" isn't "have got" using the British past participle of "get"? "Have you got" isn't present. Habēs is. The only reason I didn't change it to "Do you have the letters?" is because it would be the same as the example for the dative of possession. Speaking of the dative of possession, does an explanation of it really belong in a dictionary entry for habeō? --Jescvs 14:56, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I just changed it to 'do you have', though have got is standard British English for 'to possess'. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:59, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I know that. It's just that it's technically perfect tense (hence the "have"), unlike habēo/habēs. Thanks for the edit, by the way. --Jescvs 22:43, 15 December 2011 (UTC)


H-dropping in Classical Latin? Wasn’t it a Vulgar Latin phenonemon? — Ungoliant (Falai) 23:13, 23 September 2013 (UTC)


Isn't it possible it derived from PIE keh₂p-, just like Germanic habjaną?

It is my understanding that habeo and haben are not related, but have separate origins. —Stephen (Talk) 21:50, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
PIE *k never becomes h in Latin. The only known origin for Latin h is PIE *gʰ. —CodeCat 17:07, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
The origin of habeo is *gʰh₁bʰ- ‎(to seize, take, take up, hold). It is related on the Germanic side to English give ‎(to cause to have). Leasnam (talk) 17:12, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

CodeCat, good point. Still, it doesn't rest well with me that two words which Wiktionary states as having the same meaning and very similar sound really long ago (old Germanic / old Italic) are supposed to be derived from unrelated roots. It's too much of a coincidence; it's weird for a false cognate. It also worries me that the derivation of Latin habere from Old Latin is shaky, especially given that the older Latin texts get, the more likely they are to use esse + dat. And that this construction was probably the standard PIE way just adds to the unease. I guess I have to accept the current story but it just doesn't feel complete. Anyway, thanks! unsigned comment by User:‎, 09:48, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

There are lots of coincidences such as this. For example, the Mbabaram word dog, which looks like English dog and means the same thing as English dog, but is completely unrelated to the English word. When you figure that there are billions of words used by over 6000 languages, it is only logical that some of them will be very similar, yet have different origins. —Stephen (Talk) 09:57, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
But that's in an Australian aboriginal language, not in a closely related language spoken relatively close by and (supposedly) developing the word roughly at the same time. Coincidences exist, but one shouldn't assume them and one needs a good solid story. The only story we have at the moment assumes more than you'd like and there are too many unknowns.
It is possible that, due to the influx of germanic speakers as conscripts, then settlers, having learned the Latin language, influenced the use of habere according to their own use of *habjaną, indeed I believe Oïl French uses avoir in more situations opposed to the more typical southern tenere, but Latin habere was certainly not a borrowed term, if that is perhaps what you mean Leasnam (talk) 11:57, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
No, a borrowing in Latin seems unlikely, since it's present in the oldest Latin texts we know of, and in its Italic sister languages. At the time it was separated from Germanic by 1300 km and countless other tribes. The last possible date for a straight borrowing must have been 1200 BC give or take, but that's a long time ago. And it's possible this point was reached centuries earlier even.
Another point of interest is that the meanings of the two stems are very similar and the consonants differ in the same way: k vs gʰ and p vs bʰ. Even h₂ vs h₁ might fall into this pattern if you take h₂ as a laryngeal fricative and h₁ as a voiced h. If the two stems were related, that would explain a lot of the coincidence away. Unfortunately, there is a potential problem, being that consonants of these classes couldn't mix, so instead of writing (ignoring the vowel for the moment): *kh₂p- vs *gʰh₁bʰ- we should for our purposes write *[u]khp- and *[vʰ]khp-. This might make a coincidence seem more likely, as a stem like *kh₂bʰ- couldn't have existed. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).