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5.2.3.5. Hebben'to have' + infinitive
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If hebben'to have' governs some other verb, it is typically used as a perfect auxiliary; cf. Section 6.2.1. There is, however, another construction, illustrated in (749), in which hebben does not govern a past participle but a bare infinitive.

Example 749
a. Ik heb de brief hier voor me liggen.
  have  the letter  here  in.front.of me  lie
  'I have the letter lying here in front of me.'
b. Marie heeft buiten drie koeien lopen/grazen.
  Marie  has  outside  three cows  walk/pasture
  'Marie has three cows grazing outside.'
c. Jan heeft in Amsterdam veel familie werken/wonen.
  Jan has  in Amsterdam  a lot of family  work/live
  'Jan has quite a few family members working/living in Amsterdam.'

The constructions in (749) crucially differ from perfect-tense constructions in that hebben functions as a main verb, as is clear from the fact that it adds an additional argument to the arguments selected by the infinitival verb. It looks as if we have to do with some sort of AcI-construction: example (750b) shows that the subject of liggen surfaces as an object in the hebben + bare infinitive construction in order to allow the additional argument to become the subject of hebben. That hebben is an argument-taking verb in examples such as (750) cannot be shown so easily by means of pronominalization: a continuation of (750) by means of (750b') is not accepted by all speakers.

Example 750
a. De brief/Hij ligt hier voor me.
  the letter/he  lies  here  in.front.of me
b. Ik heb [de brief/hem hier voor me liggen].
  have  the letter/him  here  in.front.of me  lie
b'. % ... en Peter heeft dat ook.
  ... and  Peter has  that  too

That hebben and the bare infinitive may form a verbal complex is clear from the fact illustrated in (751a) that the infinitive may follow hebben in embedded clauses, as a result of which it is separated from its arguments. Unfortunately, it is not possible to appeal to the IPP-effect in order to provide more evidence for this, for the simple reason that the construction does not occur in the perfect tense; example (751b) is unacceptable both with and without the IPP-effect.

Example 751
a. dat ik de brief hier voor me heb liggen.
  that  the letter  here  in.front.of me  have  lie
b. * dat ik de brief hier voor me heb hebben/gehad liggen.
  that  the letter  here  in.front.of me  have  have/had  lie

That hebben takes a bare infinitival complement clause finds more support in the fact that PP-complements of bare infinitives may contain the simplex reflexive zich if the latter is bound by the subject of hebben; since weak reflexives must be free in their own clause (see Section N5.2.1.5, sub III, for a more accurate discussion), the bracketed structure in (752) must be an infinitival clause. The intended interpretation is indicated by means of coindexing.

Example 752
Dit bedrijfi heeft [vijfhonderd mensen voor zichi werken].
  this company  has   five.hundred people  for refl  work
'This company employs 500 people.'

The competing analysis according to which the bare infinitive is the head of a bare-inf nominalization cannot be correct; subjects of the input verbs of such nominalizations are never realized as nominal phrases but are left implicit or realized by means of a van/door-phrase.
      The discussion above has already shown that the hebben + bare infinitive construction is restricted in unexpected ways; it does not have a perfect form and does not seem to allow pronominalization of its infinitival complement. We continue by discussing some more restrictions. Note first that the infinitive is part of a restricted paradigm, which seems exhausted by the examples in (753), taken from Paardekooper (1986:108).

Example 753
a. Posture verbs: liggen'to lie', zitten'to sit', staan'to stand', hangen'to hang'
b. Movement verbs: lopen'to walk', draaien'to turn', rijden'to drive', vliegen'to fly'
c. Activity verbs: branden'to burn', grazen'to pasture', groeien'to grow', spelen'to play', werken'to work', wonen'to live'

The verbs of posture in (753a) occur very frequently in this construction. They can frequently be omitted without any drastic effect on the meaning of the examples; the examples in (754) with and without the bare infinitive express more or lesss the same assertion. If there is a meaning difference, it might be that the examples without an infinitive simply express that the referents of the objects are in a specific location, whereas the examples with an infinitive suggest that the referents of the object may be located there for a certain reason: the contract mentioned in (754a), for example, may be in the right place to be consulted if needed, the old computer mentioned in (754b) may be needed as a fall-back, and the laundry mentioned in (754) is likely to hang outside in order to dry.

Example 754
a. Ik have het contract hier voor me (liggen).
  have  the contract  here  in.front.of me   lie
  'I have the contract (lying) here in front of me.'
b. Ik heb nog een oude computer in de bergkast (staan).
  have  still  an old computer  in the cupboard   stand
  'I still have an old computer (standing) in the cupboard.'
c. Ik heb de was buiten ?(hangen).
  have  the laundry  outside    hang
  'I have the laundry hanging outside.'

The presence of the movement verbs in (755) sometimes seem to trigger a clear difference in meaning in the sentences. Sentences without a bare infinitive simply have a possession reading; the entities referred to by the object are in the possession of the entity referred to by the subject. In sentences with a bare infinitive, on the other hand, the possession reading is less prominent and the focus is more on the fact that the referents of the objects entertain some professional relation to the referents of the subject. This is perhaps not so clear in the case of lopen in (755a), although this example is certainly compatible with the idea that Marie is a farmer, but an example such as (755b) definitely suggests that the three cars are in Groningen for a reason: they are used, e.g., to transport things or persons. Example (755c) does not seem to involve possession at all, but simply expresses that there are at least three turbines running in the power station in question.

Example 755
a. Marie heeft buiten drie koeien (lopen).
  Marie  has  outside  three cows   walk
  'Marie has three cows (grazing) outside.'
b. Jan heeft in Groningen drie autoʼs (rijden)
  Jan has  in Groningen  three cars   drive
  'Jan has three cars (running) in Groningen.'
c. We hebben tenminste drie turbines (draaien) in deze centrale.
  we  have  at least  three turbines   turn  in this power.station
  'We keep at least three turbines (turning) in this power station.'

In (756), we give some examples with the activity verbs branden'to burn', grazen'to pasture', groeien'to grow' and werken'to work'. These examples, too, seem to express a meaning that goes beyond the expression of simple possession.

Example 756
a. Jan heeft kaarsen in zijn kamer branden.
  Jan has  candles  in his room  burn
  'Jan has candles lit in his room.'
b. Marie heeft buiten drie koeien grazen.
  Marie  has  outside  three cows  graze
  'Marie has three cows grazing (outside).'
c. Els heeft aardbeien in de tuin groeien.
  Els  has  strawberries  in the garden  grow
  'Els has strawberries growing in the garden.'
d. Peter heeft in Groningen drie mensen werken.
  Peter has  in Groningen  three people  work
  'Peter has three people working for him in Groningen.'

      It looks as if hebben + bare infinitive constructions often have a durative meaning; this is at least what Paardekooper claims for the hebben + lopen construction. If we substitute krijgen for hebben, the construction refers to some future eventuality with a longer duration. However, the complementation options for this verb are even more restricted than with hebben: perhaps this complementation is restricted to wonen'to live' and werken'to work'.

Example 757
a. Jan heeft/krijgt een jong stel naast zich wonen.
  Jan has/gets  a young couple  next.to him  live
  'There is/will be a young couple living next to Jan.'
b. Els heeft/krijgt een nieuwe assistent voor haar werken.
  Els has/gets  a new assistant  for her  work
  'Els has/will get a new assistant working for her.'

      Another restriction often mentioned is that the infinitival clause normally contains some spatial phrase which can serve as a complementive, like in the examples in (754), or as an adverbial phrase, as in the examples in (755) and (756). That leaving out the complementives in (754) gives rise to a degraded result need not surprise us: the posture verbs normally require a complementive to be present. In fact, it is the possibility of omitting the PP in (758) that should be seen as the surprising thing. We used a percentage sign in (758a) because one of our informants reported to accept Ik heb het contract liggen.

Example 758
a. Ik heb het contract %(hier voor me) liggen.
  have  the contract     here  in.front.of me  lie
b. Ik heb nog een oude computer (in de bergkast) staan.
  have  still  an old computer  in the cupboard  stand
c. Ik heb de was *(buiten) hangen.
  have  the laundry     outside  hang
  'I have the washing hanging outside.'

If leaving out the adverbial phrases in (754) and (755) were to have a degrading effect, it would be surprising as these adverbial phrases are normally optional. Our own judgments suggest that there may well be some degrading effect, although it is generally quite mild and differs from case to case and probably also from speaker to speaker.

Example 759
a. Marie heeft ?(buiten) drie koeien lopen.
  Marie  has    outside  three cows  walk
b. Jan heeft ?(in Groningen) drie autoʼs rijden.
  Jan has    in Groningen  three cars   drive
c. We hebben tenminste drie turbines draaien ?(in deze centrale).
  we  have  at.least  three turbines  turn    in this power.station
Example 760
a. Jan heeft kaarsen (in zijn kamer) branden.
  Jan has  candles   in his room  burn
b. Marie heeft ?(buiten) drie koeien grazen.
  Marie  has     outside  three cows  graze
c. Els heeft aardbeien ??(in de tuin) groeien.
  Els  has  strawberries   in the garden  grow
d. Peter heeft ??(in Groningen) drie mensen werken.
  Peter  has      in Groningen  three people  work

For completeness' sake, the examples in (761) show that in the case of posture verbs, the complementive can also be adjectival or have the form of a verbal particle.

Example 761
a. Jan heeft zijn spullen klaar staan.
  Jan has  his things  ready  stand
  'Janʼs things are ready.'
b. Jan heeft de vlag uithangen.
  Jan has  the flag  out-hang
  'Jan has the flag hanging out.'

The examples in (762) show that verbal particles are also possible with verbs of movement, but seem impossible with other activity verbs; although zijn kinderen groeien op'his children are growing up' is impeccable, example (762b) seems unacceptable.

Example 762
a. Marie heeft drie koeien rondlopen.
  Marie has  three cows around-walk
  'Marie has three cows walking about.'
b. *? Jan heeft twee kinderen opgroeien.
  Jan  has  two children  up-growing
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References:
  • Paardekooper, P.C1986Beknopte ABN-syntaksisEindhovenP.C. Paardekooper
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