In this post, I’d like to differentiate between the three ways that habeō takes a direct object: (a) an accusative, (b) an accusative perfect participle, and (c) an infinitive.
Habeō takes an accusative direct object in the sense of ‘possessing’ that object.
- I have three sons: trēs fīliōs habeō.
- She held the scepter: sceptrum habēbat.
Habeō with the perfect participle bears the same sense as ‘habēbat‘ above: possession extended over a period of time.
- They are holding him in the prison: eum in carcere habent. (right now)
- They are holding him in prison: eum captātum in carcere habent. (continuous status of incarceration)
- They have him as a witness: eum teste habent. (at this moment).
- They have him as a witness: eum testātum habent. (for now, but also for when they might need him)
Habeō with an infinitive completes a construction of purpose.
- I have much to promise: multum habeō pollicērī.
- You have work to do: labōrem habēs facere.
- You must do the work: labōrem habēs facere. (cf. Spanish tener que)
The Essential AG: 460a, 497b