Submitted by Hairy Scot • March 22, 2011
Is there not a redundancy in the use of “got” with “have”?
Why say “I have got” or “I’ve got” when “I have” conveys the exact meaning?
The same would be true of its use in the second or third person.
March 27, 2011, 5:35am
Does it make any difference if a try to use it this way?
I've got a car. <--- I just bought a car.I have a car. <--- I bought a car long ago.
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March 27, 2011, 7:28am
First, I suggest you do a little experiment. Say 'I have a car' and then 'I've got a car', and notice how your mouth moves. The second is more efficient (we don't have to open wide for the 'a' sound in have, everything goes smoothly forward). I suspect, but have no scientific evidence to back this up, that very often when we have a choice, between 'which' or 'that' for example, we go for the one which involves the least mouth movement. I imagine that this was the origin of many irregular forms.
Second, I confess I cannot understand this current obsession with redundancy. Why can't people simply enjoy using the language we all speak, and the choices we have in formulating it, without constantly looking for so-called errors. Most of us use redundancy the whole time in spoken language. So what!
@Sharm - not in BrE at least, where 'I've got a car' means 'I possess a car', whereas 'I've just got a car' means 'I've just obtained a car'. Both Oxford and Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionaries list 'have got' under 'have', not 'get'. They also say that this use for possession is mainly in BrE.
@dogreed - again in BrE 'I have a rash' means exactly the same as 'I have got a rash' - 'have got' is simply an alternative present tense of 'have' (Shaw - Practical English Usage)
@goofy - spot on, as usual.
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March 27, 2011, 5:34pm
Just a thought: .
I have an ice cream cone = emphasis on possession onlyI have got an ice cream cone = communicates that there was a transaction
March 30, 2011, 1:09pm
"He's very lucky really. He's got a wonderful family and they've got a lovely old house in the country, which his family have had for centuries. The house has also got a huge garden, which needs a lot of attention."
"Luckily he's got a good job to pay for all the upkeep. But sometimes the pressure can be a bit much. His company's got an important contract which has to be finalised this week, so they've got a lot of work on. This afternoon alone he's got three client meetings. He also had three yesterday and will probably have a couple more tomorrow. But at least he's got the weekend free"
It's not rocket science. My EFL students can handle it easily enough. 'have got' = alternative present tense of 'have' for possession - no more, no less. (Notice past, future and perfect forms all use simple 'have') This usage for possession is probably more common in the UK than simple 'have'. It's natural Standard English - just check a dictionary (BrE are likely to have more about it. See comment above), but @Jim, please look under 'have got', not 'got', which is something completely different. 'I got a car' (get) is a red herring; it has nothing to do with 'I've got a car' (have got), full stop.
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April 28, 2011, 5:22pm
I have = AmericanismI've got = Britishism
That's truly the difference, I promise.
March 24, 2011, 6:51pm
"redundant" does not mean "incorrect".
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage says "Have will do perfectly well in writing that avoids the natural rhythms of speech. But in speech, or prose that resembles speech, you will probably want have got."
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November 16, 2011, 1:34pm
Ok, this really shouldn't be all that hard to understand. While both words have more than one meaning, let's compare "to have" meaning "to possess", with "to get", meaning "to receive". "Got" is the simple past tense and as mentioned above, "have got" is the present perfect.
The present perfect is used to describe past events that happened at an unspecified time. E.g., "I have eaten breakfast already." is ok, but not "I have eaten breakfast at 9AM." It should be "I ate breakfast at 9AM."
When you say "I have got" something, it means that some time in the past, you received it. At one time you didn't have it, then at some later time, you did. There's nothing wrong, grammatically or semantically, with such an assertion.
When you say "I have" something, it means that you are in possession of it, nothing more and nothing less. There's nothing wrong with this either.
Now follow me on this: anything that you currently have, you must have got at some time or another. Even if you were born with a particular trait, you still received it at the moment of your creation (reincarnation notwithstanding). Conversely, everything you have got, you still have, unless of course, you've disposed of it somehow (in which case, you'd probably say "had got").
So, "I have" and "I have got" do not actually mean the same thing, but anything you can say one about, you can just as readily say the other about. They can be used interchangeably. Both are correct, but still different. Do people often say one when they really mean the other? Probably, but it really doesn't matter if they are logically equivalent.
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March 30, 2011, 10:14am
first look up the definition of "got", notice it is past tense."I have a car" is present tense"I got a car" is a past tense sentence (and you may no longer have that car)have (present tense) and got (past tense) do not belong next to each otherperiod
March 26, 2011, 3:25am
The answer to your question is yes and no. There are instances where "I have" and I have got" mean the same thing. For example: I have/got to go. In other cases there is a slight distinction: I have a rash versus I have got a rash. There is a slight change in tense, but not an exact one.
The word "got" has a bad rep. It should not. Use it.
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April 4, 2011, 3:12pm
Scyllacat:"But in speech, it's ordinary, common idiom, nothing to worry about."I totally agree. I live in New Zealand but am originally from the UK. In both countries you frequently hear "I've got", which is (in my opinion) completely interchangeable with "I have".
Jim:"At the very least, all “have got” is is four more keys typed with no change in meaning."I don't buy this argument. For instance there exist in English the words "huge", "massive", "gigantic", "enormous" and "colossal". They all basically mean the same thing, namely "very big". Would you suggest we only ever use "huge" because it's shorter than the alternatives? In English there are often many ways of expressing the same concept; I think that's a good thing.
April 5, 2011, 2:14pm
milamber, I appreciate and applaud your credentials; however in my 29 years in my own profession one thing I’ve learned is that it’s hard to find someone who knows everything about their profession. Should you know? Yes, but that’s not a guarantee.
JJMBallantyne, “there and they’re (I should have included their)” synonymous or homographic? Maybe homographic would be better, maybe not. I’m mainly suggesting the words are interchanged so often (by those that don’t seem to know the definitions) that their distinction is lost.
Chris B, does that mean that you couldn’t stack “huge", "massive", "gigantic", "very big", "enormous" and "colossal" in some order of increasing size and that they mean exactly the same? IE might you consider an enormous mountain to be different size than a very big mountain?
I believe that if you polled a lot of people, and asked the definition of got (not have got) they would say something similar to “have”, and that’s my issue, the distinction between have and got doesn’t exist to a significant % of the population.
But, apparently I’m alone on this side of the fence and the rest of the world is not only ok with “I’ve got” you’re downright in love with its use and mad that I suggest its might incorrect. I guess I’ll need (oops, my mistake) I guess I’ve got to be ok with ads like “Got Milk?” and its derivatives like a shirt I recently saw printed “Got CPR?”
Well I have got to go now, I have got to work on a project that I have got.
I wonder if it would have been more proper or at least clearer to have said“Well I need to go now, I want to work on a project that I have.”But that’s just me I ‘sposeBye all, it been fun
May 22, 2011, 11:51pm
I did not expect so much debate on this.My own feeling is that "I have" is a bit more elegant than "I have got". I was not aware that either form had a geographic bias.I would also take issue with any suggestion as to nuances of tense.Finally, got is the past tense of get, which the OED defines in a number of ways, all of which basically mean to "acquire" or "take possession of" etc etc.So "I got" would mean "I acquired" not "I possess".
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April 1, 2011, 10:15am
@Jim - Hi. I think this is mainly British usage, which is why you might not find it in US dictionaries (but you will find it if you google it) . So here's a couple (or four) -
And from ESL and grammar websiteshttp://esl.about.com/cs/beginner/a/beg_havegot.htmhttp://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/have-got-g...http://www.eslbase.com/grammar/have-gothttp://www.better-english.com/havegot.htm (quiz with examples)
See, it really isn't a figment of my imagination.
Note to administrator -this is not entering my name, but part of my email address instead.
April 1, 2011, 3:46pm
You are all pulling at hairs. The simple answer is that "I have" is more commonly used in written English and "I've got" is more commonly used in spoken English. Both are acceptable forms and there is no grammatical explanation for a preference in either usage. Get a grip all of you.
- EFL/TESL teacher with 20 years experience in 7 countries -
ps Jim Scrivener is my bitch rofl
March 30, 2011, 1:04pm
Jim: I'm not sure about your logic.What about "I have a car" (present) and "I bought a car" (past)? You can certainly say "I have bought a car". As cnelsonrepublic says, "have" is an auxiliary verb.
In short, "have got" is perfectly good English.
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March 31, 2011, 6:47am
@Jackbox - my 'full stop' was meant to be an ironic reply to @Jim's 'period'. Well yes, I am relatively sure of myself because I've been teaching English for ten years, and I also checked out my facts fairly carefully before commenting, see references above. (swa.randomidea).
I agree with the gist of your argument, but would just add that for us Brits, the ' have got' is the more usual construction. As for whether it's redundant or not, is of supreme indifference to me (as you could see just then), it's the way most of us speak. Unless of course I was writing for the New Yorker, but that's not going to happen.
March 31, 2011, 10:12am
In case I’m wrong I took your advice and looked up “have got”. Problem is it isn’t in my Webster’s Collegiate or the online Merriam–Webster.com but both references define got as past and past participle of get. (notice either way,it is past tense) If you know of a legitimate reference that goes further, let me know. Until then, how you stretch "got" to mean present tense possession is beyond me. And please don’t use the excuse that it’s normal communication, with that reasoning "they’re" and "there" will soon be synonymous.
At the very least, all “have got” is is four more keys typed with no change in meaning.
thanks for the debate everyone
April 3, 2011, 6:16am
Thank you all! I for one am thrilled to hear that I may continue to use "I've got" with relative impunity. As a Canadian raised in the US, I think I may be stuck somewhere between British and American usage on some of these topics. I agree with those who find more humor than horror in regional usages of expressions, but it wasn't always that way! This site is a revelation.
November 16, 2011, 2:20pm
New Reader:Porsche's comments on the English language are normally exceptionally good, but unfortunately I have to agree with you here.
In the UK (where I was brought up) and NZ (where I live now), "I have" and "I have got" mean precisely the same thing. It's no more complicated than that. You can say "I've got ten toes" even though you've always had them.
Perhaps in America the situation is different.
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June 24, 2011, 1:00pm
It's actually a regional thing. I'm an American moving to London next year, so I've been studying the differences between the way Brits and Americans speak (watching Doctor Who and Sherlock help a ton, haha, but also speaking to them online so as not to make a silly mistake and embarrass myself with something they only do on the "telly") and I've noticed this. Americans more often say, for instance, "I have a meeting this afternoon." wherefore Englishmen will say, "I've got a meeting this afternoon." It's one of the many things I've noticed, alongside a Brit's way of asking a question, "Have you got a meeting this afternoon?" When an Americsn would say, "Do you have a meeting this afternoon?"Not only that, but the tone of voice in general is different, I don't know how to explain it through text but there is a clear difference between where people in Britain and people in the US will stress words to ask a question, the British version sounding more like a statement than a question.
It's all veeery interesting to me. :) I'm excited to go to England and pick up more.
There is the past-present tense difference,
June 24, 2011, 1:02pm
-- oops. Haha.There is the past-present tense difference, but it's really just where you're from, they can and usually do mean the same thing.
December 12, 2011, 7:11am
lmao lmao grow up GOT GOT GOT GOT GOT GOT GOT ps im glad that whoever made this site is the king of grammer and created the english language to be able to tell us all the way that we can use it. psps GOT it?
December 12, 2011, 7:39am
hahaha unbelievable, I still believe that the "got" is unnecessary since "I have" in itself denotes possession or the need to do something whether or not used with "got".And as I said back in May, I would also take issue with any suggestion as to nuances of tense.@AnwulfJohn could also have said "Yes, I have it", or maybe even "Yes, mum". WOW hairy scot has been arguing over the word got since back in may < brother your fight really has changed the world, seriously i hear got maybe 3 time less a day now ur amazin> Now lets switch over to the word Aint and keep that arguement goin till december next year!
December 12, 2011, 2:28pm
@HairyScot - I totally agree with you that 'I've got' has exactly the same meaning as 'I have' (and that's where you'll find it in the dictionary) and that porsche has got it wrong here.
But 'I've got' is mainly used in informal spoken English, where we don't usually worry about redundancy. In fact many linguists say that redundancy actually helps comprehension in spoken language . And I still argue that 'I've got a new car' is easier to say then 'I have a new car' - it involves less mouth movement. In spoken English 'have got' is simply more natural (as MWDEU says - link below).
You could use exactly the same argument about 'Ive got to', and 'I have to' - but I imagine there is an equally good reason why we often say 'I've got to'.
What is more important? Worrying about a little harmless redundancy, or using good old idiomatic English? It was good enough for Jane Austen, Lord Byron and Lewis Carroll after all.
March 30, 2011, 9:49am
The English language (as with pretty much any language) is filled with examples of multiple ways of expressing the same idea. I don't consider that redundancy.
The "have" and "got" in "have got" are also not redundant, because the "have" is an auxiliary verb, while the "got" is a participle.
March 30, 2011, 2:17pm
Wow! everyone is so sure of themselves on here! FULL STOP indeed!
I think the most that can be said against "have got" is that it's redundant. It is not expressing anything unique about the reality of "having' a noun.
"I have a car" "I have got a car"
The second sentence doesn't sound very elegant, but most take little issue with "I've got a car"
Notice how it sounds more reasonable than
"I've a car"
You really have to put emphasis on the contraction (when speaking) to make it sound correct to the listener. In fact, I wonder if American English speakers would hear this as anything other than someone trying to be pretentious.
So perhaps not a FULL STOP, but more of a ellipse?
March 30, 2011, 4:52pm
Jim, of course "have" and "got" belong next to each other. "got" is the past tense, but it's also a past participle.
About the meaning difference between "have" and "have got", Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage notes that for many Americans, "have got" denotes mere possession, but "have" denotes obtaining.
April 1, 2011, 4:38pm
Ah, the two types of responders on comments boards: the curious arguer and the heroic, mensch who comes to save the day with "common sense' folksy wisdom! Thank you! Did John Lennon write "Working Class Hero" for you?
Look, I am sure we can all the play the game of who has the biggest credentials, the point is, this is a forum (at least I thought it was!) for people do discuss the vagaries of English usage. From on high you say "get a grip," but that suggests that language is somehow not open to friendly discussion about it's inconsistencies. I for one have found the chat (up until you chimed with your massive, engorged TESL creds) to be enlightening. Perhaps civility isn't the hallmark of the board? You sound EXACTLY like the respondents at Youtube or a hockey board.
April 3, 2011, 8:40pm
Everyone's pretty much said it. In written stuff, it's redundant, somewhat informal, etc., and probably not recommended usage.
But in speech, it's ordinary, common idiom, nothing to worry about. Oddly, until now, I'd assumed it was Southern, cuz that's where I stay. :)
November 29, 2011, 8:32am
@Chris B ... I think someone upthread said it but I'll say it again since it seems to be what is befuddling folks.
In the US, one HEARS "I'v got" for "I have", and "I'v got to" or "I got to" (gotta) for "I must/I have to". Oddly, yu won't find it written out much that way ... at least not beyond chats and maybe some forums. Folks often switch to "I have" when writing and benote "gotten" as the ppl.
What yu don't hear (much) in the US, is "I have got" for "I have". In speech, the contraction is said. I think is owing to "I'v got" and "I got" are so near in sound and often, in context, mean the same thing. ...
John often forgets a book and leaves it in the house. In the car, Mom says, "Do yu hav yur book?" ... "Yes, I'v got it." ... He could hav as eathly said, "I got it" meaning that he got it on the way out.
It helps that "gotten" is still brooked in the US. Then it becomes clearer. "Hav yu gotten the book that yu ordered?" ... If yu say "Hav yu got?" then its unclear whether yu asking "Do yu hav it?" or "Did yu get it?"
@joeydq ... I think yu'r right. I would never teach "I have got" aside from being a colloquialism that the learner needs to be aware of.
February 1, 2013, 10:54am
I've to say I would do just what I did at the beginning of this sentence rather than say "I have to say", or "I have got to say". Contractions are used for expedience, so go for the most efficient form that doesn't confuse.
Know the rules so you can manipulate them.
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February 1, 2013, 3:04pm
@Curious indeed - you might, but it would seem that not so many others would:
"I've to say" - Google hits - 3 million"I've got to say" - Google hits - 62 million"I have to say" - Google hits - 92 milion
The truth is that not many people contract "I have" to "I've", and it doesn't sound very natural to me. "I've got", on the other hand, does.
February 2, 2013, 12:26am
@Curious indeed - that should read - not many people contract "I have to" to "I've to" ... "I've got to". With simple "have" I grant that it happens much more often: "Hey, I've an idea.", "I've a good mind to ..." etc.
November 2, 2012, 9:14am
Today,they have got a modern lap top computer. (Tomorrow)
November 2, 2012, 1:30pm
This question has been around for a long time. Let me quote from 'The Complete Plain Words' by Sir Ernest Gowers:'Have got', for 'possess' or 'have', says Fowler, is good colloquial but not good literary English. Others have been more lenient. Dr. Johnson said: 'He has good a good estate' does not always mean that he has acquired, but barely that he possesses it. So we say that ' the lady has got black eyes', merely meaning that she has them.When such high authorities differ, (Gowers continues) what is a plain man to think? If it is true that superfluous words are an evil, we ought to condemn ' the lady has got black eyes' but not 'the lady has got a black eye'. Still, writing for those whose prose inclines more to primness than to colloquialisms, and who are not likely to overdo the use of 'got', we advise them not to be afraid of it.
November 15, 2011, 2:28pm
Jim (above) says: In case I’m wrong I took your advice and looked up “have got”. Problem is it isn’t in my Webster’s Collegiate or the online Merriam–Webster.com but both references define got as past and past participle of get. (notice either way,it is past tense) If you know of a legitimate reference that goes further, let me know. Until then, how you stretch "got" to mean present tense possession is beyond me.
It is a present tense - it's called the present perfect tense. As tenses go this does not travel well. It exists in German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, among others, and is used differently in each. In old German it was the same as in British English but now is used to mean the same as the past tense. In the south of Italy it is the same as in British English but it refers only to the recent past in the north. In Spanish is is often similar to the English but is largely disused outside Spain. The same with Portuguese. In English it is used the same way in the UK and in most other parts of the English-speaking world except that in the USA its use decreases as you move form the east coast to the west. Many, if not most, Americans are confused by the tense and do not use it consistently - in fact many are very weak when it comes to perfect tenses, possibly due to high levels of immigration and the strong influence of the large number of early German settlers. On 'Judge Judy' for example witnesses habitually use the past perfect tense 'I had gone' as a kind of formal simple past tense to mean 'I went.'
The present perfect has a number of wrinkles but a simple explanation is to say:
I have seen the light of the lord = (past statement) I saw the light of the lord at some undefined point in the past AND (present implication) the information in the past statement has some significance for the present and I invite you to think what it is.
So: I have got = I got something in the past so I have it now.
Longwinded, perhaps, but there you are.
Remember in American English the verb goes 'get got gotten' but in the UK this old form has been dropped and the verb is 'get got got.'
February 6, 2013, 8:18pm
Now I understand why my friend in college told me that I spoke like a Brit without the accent. It's never been unusual for me to use "have got", fully, in speech. =) Being a Philadelphian, I guess I should have spoken like this... "Yo, I gotta get some wooder from the crick. Yous need any?"
November 16, 2011, 1:51pm
@PorscheHow about "I have to go" vs "I have got to go"?or "I have to have an operation" vs "I have got to have an operation"?
November 16, 2011, 1:52pm
I still think "I have a lovely bunch of coconuts" sounds so much better than "I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts"
November 16, 2011, 1:54pm
@PorscheWhat utter balderdash!
November 16, 2011, 3:17pm
&Chris BI agree. Porsche's comments are normally worth reading, but I think he is a bit off the mark in this case.
May 23, 2011, 7:16am
I agree hairyscot.
November 21, 2012, 1:35am
I teach English to French school kids. Up until 2011 the school book that I use, called "Enjoy English", used the form, for example, "I have got two rabbits.", "She has got blue eyes." This is a form we call the Present Perfect, using the auxiliary verb HAVE and the past participle of the verb 'get', which is GOT (in the UK). The 'Enjoy English' books now use the form, for example, "I have two rabbits." and "She has blue eyes." this is the Present Simple tense. So somebody 'up there' has decided that it is more modern to use the simple form. So now I have to teach both:"She has two rabbits." "Does she have two rabbits?" "She doesn't have two rabbits.""She has got two rabbits." "Has she got two rabbits?" "She hasn't got two rabbits."Please note that as soon as you move the time-line into the future or the past the problem is solved, GOT disappears, as follows:"She had two rabbits." "Did she have two rabbits?" "She didn't have two rabbits."You can't use GOT. You would need to select the past participle of another verb, for example, OBTAINED, BOUGHT, STOLEN, etc. And then you would be using the tense called the PAST PERFECT or PLUPERFECT. The PERFECT tenses (present perfect and past/pluperfect) have a special use in that they link an event to the IMMEDIATE PAST, meaning that it has direct consequence on the present. Note that they always use a form of the auxiliary HAVE plus a PAST PARTICIPLE. For example:"I have just bought a new car. It's parked outside. You gotta come for a spin in it, now!""I have broken my glasses. I can't drive until I get them fixed.""I have never been to Spain." (meaning up until now, so maybe I'm thinking of going there next year.)Let's go back to GOT for a moment. The American past participle is GOTTEN, so one could say "I have just gotten myself a car. Come for a spin it it!" ; "I've just gotten two rabbits. Come round and see them, they're so cute."
That's the way the HAVE form is going for French school children anyway. So I'd better get back to preparing my English lesson for today. I have got to explain the difference between 'I have...' and 'I've got...'. Oops! There's another form where I can use 'I have to explain...' instead of 'I've got to explain...'.
November 21, 2012, 2:22am
@Thomas Smith - I teach foreign students and have never come across "Enjoy English", but I can assure you that all the major British course books still teach both forms. And I have never, ever seen students taught that "have got" is the Present perfect of "get", because it has very little to do with "get". It's an idiomatic alternative to "have" for possession. That's why you'll find it listed in learner's dictionaries under "have" rather than under "get".
In fact if your Present perfect theory is correct, how do you explain "have got to" - the Present perfect of "get to"? It just doesn't work.
In fact it's my impression that we (in BrE at least) very rarely use the standard verb "get" in the Present perfect, without adding something - "I've just got myself a new car" suggests that you have indeed "obtained, bought, stolen" one, whereas "I've got a new car" simply tell us that you have one.
You're right that we can't use this construction in the past or future (which rather proves it's nothing to do with perfect aspect), but you rather confuse the issue by bringing in "obtain, buy, steal" etc, which are all connected with the verb "get", which is pretty irrelevant. "Have got" is simply an idiomatic version of "have" for possession, no more, no less. So the future simple is "will have", the past simple is "had", period.
@Skeeter Lewis - What is a plain man to think? Probably what most of us do (in Britain, at any rate), which is to use "have got" in conversation and informal correspondence, and "have" in more formal circumstances. (see my link to MWDEU)
November 21, 2012, 9:26am
@Skeeter Lewis - Here's a thought: use "I've got" etc when you would use other contractions - "I'm", "he's", "they'd" etc, but use "I have" etc when you would normally use uncontracted forms.
December 12, 2011, 12:55pm
porsche (above) says: 'The present perfect is used to describe past events that happened at an unspecified time. E.g., "I have eaten breakfast already." is ok, but not "I have eaten breakfast at 9AM." It should be "I ate breakfast at 9AM."'
This is definitely what the present perfect does not do! It is a present tense, about the present. "I have eaten breakfast already" has implications for the present - ' I don't need to eat breakfast again' or' I'm not hungry.' "I ate breakfast at 9AM" has no implications for the present - it is simply a record of when things happened.
American speakers of English often confuse the present perfect and the simple past. Fore example, and American teacher may ask 'Did you do your homework?" which is ungrammatical and technically meaningless, instead of "Have you done your homework?" which has present implication.
It is worth noting that the simple past may be used with present implication - "We (Chinese) invented fireworks." The present implication is that the Chinese are important people with great cultural depth. This si a world away from "The Chinese have invented fireworks" which is not grammatically correct given what we know about fireworks.
April 24, 2012, 7:57am
I've got the world on a string, sitting on a rainbow
I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts.
I've got a golden ticket!
December 13, 2011, 2:59pm
@Hairy Scot ... I don't think anyone disagrees that "I hav" is good and proper. What I'v found is that most folks will answer in the same way the frain was asked ... "Do you hav the book?" will likely be answered with "Yes, I hav it or yes, I do." OTOH, "You'v got the book? ... Yea, I'v got it." As I said before, benoting "gotten" helps to clear up whether one means "have" or "received".
@blazey ... What are yu smokin'? "Did you do your homework?" is not "ungrammatical" nor is it any less clear than "Have you done your homework?"
November 30, 2012, 7:21am
I've always just used "have got" when I've wanted to emphasize something. Funny, though, I hadn't ever used it until I heard someone else use it to stress something. When I'm up too late and have to be up early I would say, "I have GOT to get to bed." It may be wrong, but I definitely feel that stronger than, "I have(or need) to go to bed." My point is, I don't care if it's wrong or not. If it gets my feeling across, I will say it until I die. I find it interesting that I did pick it up from someone else though, but I enjoy it. :)
November 30, 2012, 7:35am
Oh, I wanted to add that I made my way to this site googling(is that a word now?) "have got." I was playing the card game Uno with some family during a get together. It was two other adults, myself, and two children. I made a comment that went something like, "I've got all the same color," meaning the cards. Well, one of the other adults attacked me for saying, "I got." I explained they misheard me and that I actually said "I've got," which led to them blasting me about the correct way being "I have." I'm pretty sure it was to set an example in front of the children, but I was so annoyed. It's not like I was writing a masters thesis or something.
November 24, 2011, 6:26am
It's complicated tu use HAVE GOT and I don´t know why British grammar try to make our lives difficult. I am more familiar with the America way.
November 24, 2011, 6:33am
It's complicated tu use HAVE GOT and I don´t know why British grammar tries to make our lives difficult. I am more familiar with the America way.
April 1, 2011, 10:22am
@Jim - I've sent 4 dictionary references as well as some grammar website references, but they're being held over for approval (too many URLs). In the meantime if you google 'have got', the first two entries are About.com and GrammarGirl - they will give you an American perspective while the other references are being approved.
January 10, 2013, 8:27pm
"I have" would be used primarily in the instance where you have had something for quite sometime. "I have a blue car," "I have brown hair," "I have black shoes," or "I have a nice, furry jacket." Obviously, these examples are of subjects that the individual has had in their possetion for a long period of time. "I got," on the other hand, should be used for things an individual recently obtained. "I got a new shirt," "I got paid yesterday," "I got a cup of coffee," or "I got a cool hat" are many examples of something that you could have GOT recently.
January 10, 2013, 10:31pm
Joel hi. What you describe here is not grammatically correct. Don't get me wrong, what you are describing is your experience of what you hear in everyday life. What we call colloquial English. The use of, for example, "He has brown hair and blue eyes." Is used more in American English. In British English you'll hear "He's got brown hair and blue eyes." Of course with the Internet the boundaries between American and British (and other variants of English) is not so clear.You must be careful when you give an example like "I got a cool hat." Grammatically this is the past tense, meaning, for example, "When I was on holiday, I got a cool hat." Your use of "got" here is colloquial meaning the same as "I have a cool hat." (If I understand you.) There's nothing wrong with colloquial speech, but you need to be clear on your grammatical rules too.As an English teacher I try to teach a strictly correct grammar, AND at the same time tell students to be prepared to hear many variants when they listen to native speakers. So to summarize: "I have brown hair." "I have a cool hat" (more favored in US English) and "I've got brown hair" "I've got a cool hat."(more favored in British English).As you say, you use "got" to indicate that you obtained something. For example, "I got a cool hat in town yesterday."But the following two statements are perfectly correct and mean the same thing:- "I have a birthmark on my left buttock." - "I've got a birthmark on my left buttock."
January 11, 2013, 7:55am
@joelackey92 - to back up Thomas Smith, there is absolutely no difference in meaning between "She has brown hair" and "She's got brown hair". "Have got" is simply an idiomatic version of "have" for possession. But you seem to have got a bit confused about the difference between "I've got" and "I got". This thread is about "have got". Nobody's questioning that "I got" is the past of "get", although I do question whether "I got" has to have any sense of happening recently.
I'm not quite sure why it is that foreign learners get the hang of "have got" quite early on, but some native speakers don't seem to be able to get their heads around it at all (I also teach English) . Actually I think I do know the answer; people think it somehow has something to do with "get" as in "obtain, acquire, buy" etc. It hasn't, full stop, period (at least not in this idiomatic use). Yes, that's how it probably started, but it hasn't had that meaning for centuries. That's why it's listed in dictionaries under "have", not "get".
''have [verb] - (In some senses have got is also used, especially in British English.) - 1. (also have got) have something (not used in the progressive tenses) to own, hold or possess something" - Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
"She's got naturally wavy hair and she's got a friendly disposition." - she didn't acquire these, recently or otherwise; they are in her genes.
As Tom says, in Britain "have got" is the standard way of talking about possession in spoken English. In more formal language, especially written language, we use "have".
But your example "I got a new hat" is not the same as "I've got a new hat". In the first sentence "got" is indeed the past of "get", but in the second, "have got" is idiomatic for "have". And there's no reason why "got" as the past simple of "get" has to be about the recent past anyway. - "Mrs Thatcher got her degree in chemistry in 1947."
It's interesting that when we really do want to use "have got" as the present perfect of "get", ie, to mean "obtain, acquire, buy" etc", we often add something else, like "just" or "myself", to make the meaning clear. - "Hey, I've just got myself a new tablet!"
And with your example of "I got paid yesterday", you are into a different use of "got" altogether, as a sort of less formal passive. "I got paid yesterday" = "I was paid yesterday". But there's no reason why this should be about the recent past either. - "As a teenager, he once got arrested for stealing cars".
January 11, 2013, 9:57pm
I'd have thought this one would have petered out by now, 22 months and still going strong!
Redundant or not, the use of "got" is certainly not incorrect, but I still feel that in a number of contexts it is somewhat inelegant.
Compare these:-"he once got arrested" "he was once arrested""I've got to go" "I must go""I have got a car" (or even "I've got a car") "I have a car"(or even "I've a car")"I've got a good mind to..." "I've a good mind to..""You've got no right" "You have (you've) no right"
I could go on ad infinitum, but I must go.
January 12, 2013, 12:17am
Nice one, Hairy Scot. I have to teach both forms to my French schoolchildren, because each school can choose which textbook to use. One publisher has dropped 'have got' in favour of 'have', (the edition concerned is for the first year of secondary school - or whatever you call it these days - age 10, let's say) the other has not yet done so - and may not for all I know.
Interestingly, the publisher that has adopted 'have' (I have a pet dog' instead of 'I have got a pet dog') has also decided that 'kids' should go, in favour of 'children'. But that's for another discussion.
However, this shows the way things are going, at least here in France.
January 12, 2013, 2:15am
@Hairy Scot - Yes, when we want to be more formal or use more elegant language, we use "have", "have to" and standard passive, but in British English, most of us prefer to use good old-fashioned idiomatic "have got" for possession and "have got to" for obligation in normal conversational English. And we can only do so in the present; for everything else we also need to use "have" and "have to".
The same with passive "got": this is an informal construction. But informal is what we use most of the time. As one linguist has put it, "informal is normal". And informal is often also friendlier sounding. I teach students to put in contractions when they are writing informal emails, for example, as uncontracted forms can sound rather stiff. It's a matter of horses for courses.
One or two points about your examples - "have got" is almost always contracted, and "have" is much less so. Which is one of many reasons I don't go for the redundancy argument.
"Must" is not exactly equivalent to "have got to" - it conveys more of a sense of urgency or personal obligation, and the negative "mustn't" is certainly not the same as "haven't got to". That's a really important point when teaching foreigners. But "have to" has exactly the same meaning as "have got to" and their negatives correspond. "Have got to" is simply idiomatic for "have to".
But your last two examples are rather interesting: I think these cases of contracted "have" are perhaps as equally as idiomatic as the "have got" versions, or perhaps even more so. But I think this only happens occasionally.
@Tom - I bet that's not a British course book publisher.
January 12, 2013, 2:37pm
While I do strive to avoid the use of "I have got" or even "I've got", I must admit that I do occasionally slip up!
Just goes to show that nobody's perfect.
January 12, 2013, 2:48pm
Re teaching English as a "second" language:Today the need often for business or academic English - emails and essays - and some of the course books are beginning to show this. This means that much less weight may be given to "I've got (to)" - "oh many Brits use this instead of 'i have' " ... and move on quickly instead of making a huge fuss about it like before.In the same way harping on about the nuances between "must" and "have to" is fruitless - there are far more useful things to be aware of; a wide word-stock is wont to make for better understanding on both sides in real life, IMHO of course.
January 12, 2013, 3:04pm
Just as a point of interest: the use of "must" instead of "have to" or "should" is very common in South African English, especially with those who speak both English and Afrikaans.Probably due in some respects to translation from Afrikaans.Phrases like "you must see this" or "you must come visit" are much more common than the "have to" or "should" variety.
April 27, 2011, 9:55am
Jim: "I’m mainly suggesting the words are interchanged so often (by those that don’t seem to know the definitions) that their distinction is lost."
Presumably by "interchanged" you simply meant misspelled. I seriously doubt that the distinction between the meanings of "they're" and "there" is lost, even on the most illiterate writer.
January 12, 2013, 4:41pm
@HS - Why on earth anyone would want to avoid perfectly good idiomatic English is beyond me, but I suppose it was a joke. Your examples of "must "from South Africa, by the way, are just how "must" is also used in the UK, to show strong or personal advice. But "have got to" and "have to" are more about general obligation, for example to talk about rules and regular obligation.
@jayles - re: emails - most internal emails are written in relatively informal language, so contractions and constructions like "have got (to)" are entirely appropriate.
I presume I'm the one who's "harping on" about the difference between "must" and "have to", so here's one reason why (redundancy be damned): I teach in companies in Poland, and the main Polish verb of obligation is "musieć", which I think you'll agree looks rather like "must", only "nie musieć" doesn't mean "mustn't" but "don't have to". That hardly sounds like a nuance to me. If you think "I must travel to work every day by tram and when I arrive I must sign the attendance register." is natural English, fine, but what about "I don't must wear a tie at work. Yesterday I musted to entertain a new client and tomorrow I'll must go on a business trip"? Nuances? Pah! Most teachers feel a responsibility to their students to teach them English that is both grammatical and natural.
What's more British course books don't "make a huge fuss" about "have got to", they simply let foreign students know that British native speakers will often use this. Many of my students communicate with British colleagues (or Germans who speak English very well), and they have to be aware of these things if they are to understand them. But the students are free to use whichever version they like.
A wide range of vocabulary is great, but not a lot of good if you don't know how to string the words together. Similarly being perfect in grammar is useless without a good vocabulary and a relative fluency in speaking. In fact in TEFL we don't spend huge amounts of time on grammar; it's totally integrated with all the other aspects we need to teach.
January 12, 2013, 6:15pm
There was a wee clue in the bottom left hand corner, but I guess you must have missed it.
Maybe Dyske can incorporate smilies when he has a spare weekend.
:-)) :-)) :-)) :-))
January 12, 2013, 10:38pm
@WW you're quite right - "don't have to" vs "must not" is vital.I was thinking more of how some of the old (Headway?) books used to harp on about the between "I have to go" and "I must go".....Yes if there is an L1 false friend one would of course have to deal with it - horses for courses."I presume I'm the one who's "harping on" .. " - no , nie jest obraził (obrażony)
Even in internal company emails it pays to err on the formal side - esp if emailing the boss. Formal English is the real struggle.
January 13, 2013, 1:23am
@jayles - OK, we can agree on something, at least. In some contexts, there is very little difference between "have to" and "must", and your example is a good one. But there are some essential grammar points we have to make about when you can and can't use each construction. I teach mainly Upper-intermediate to Proficiency students, and at this level, we really do have to go into some detail. Students want to know.
Interestingly, in Poland, formal English is not the problem, as the use of Polish in business is relatively formal. What's more, words in Polish that are similar to English tend to be from Latin and their equivalents in English are rather formal; it's getting them to be less formal that's the problem. For example, they are much more likely to say "I have observed" than it's more natural equivalent "I've noticed". Informal often sounds more natural and friendly and less stuffy; informal = normal.
I've just noticed (or even observed that) it's -11 C outside!
January 13, 2013, 1:30am
I noticed when I worked in Germany in the seventies that the majority of my German friends and colleagues very rarely used any contractions when speaking English."I will" or "I shall" was much more common than "I'll".
January 13, 2013, 2:33am
"it's -11 C outside!" I wouldn't have missed my time in Eastern Europe not for all the tea in China. Boots and fur-lined leather coat. Just memories.
April 4, 2011, 8:30am
I think "have got" implies there is/was/will be an action of some sort on the speaker's part. Using "have" does not imply that (dependent on other things said).
April 4, 2011, 10:35am
"Is there not a redundancy in the use of 'got' with 'have'?"
No. Otherwise the speaker would not have used it.
April 4, 2011, 10:42am
"And please don’t use the excuse that it’s normal communication, with that reasoning 'they’re' and 'there' will soon be synonymous.
They'll never be synonymous no matter how you spell them.
Perhaps you meant homographic?
April 5, 2011, 2:47pm
First of all: I made a mistake in my earlier post. "Have got" denotes possession, but "have gotten" denotes obtaining (for many Americans).
Next, Jim, I did give you a "legitimate references that goes further": Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage. Here's the entry: http://books.google.com/books?id=2yJusP0vrdgC&a...
You complained that "got" has been stretched to mean present tense possession. It's not much of a stretch to use the present perfect to refer to actions in the present. The fact is that it *is* normal English, and how else can we judge what is acceptable English other than by looking at how good writers use English? And "have got" has been used by good writers, including Austen, Byron and Carroll. It's worth noting that they used it in corresponce, which is why MWDEU says it is more suited to speech and speech-like prose than formal writing.
November 28, 2011, 2:30pm
Well what about I have 2 ears. I would say this yet in.an English exam in.Spain, my.son was told it should be I have got 2 ears, a sentence I would take.to.meamn i have at some pont acquired 2 ears and not at all grammatically correct.
November 28, 2011, 3:14pm
@joeydqI agree with you.The example you quote shows that some of the explanations given in justification of the use of "have got" are utter nonsense.Furthermore, why use 2 words when one will do the job better.
November 29, 2011, 1:45am
I explained to his teacher that have got is used colloquially to mean possession, but its usual meaning is to acquire. Therefore, I have got 2 bananas is fine in speech or as written conversation, although I have 2 bananas expresses the same thing in less words and is more true to the English language, but I have got 2 ears can never be correct, unless you have just bought said ears. In this context, I have got 2 ears implies that at some point you have acquired said ears rather than being.born with them. So, there are some scenarios where I have got just will not do.
April 9, 2011, 1:36pm
goofy is right! For more information on the conjugation of the verb "to get" see http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-engli...When using the present perfect tense the writer is emphsizing the present effect of an action which happened in the past.
November 29, 2011, 3:11pm
I still believe that the "got" is unnecessary since "I have" in itself denotes possession or the need to do something whether or not used with "got".And as I said back in May, I would also take issue with any suggestion as to nuances of tense.@AnwulfJohn could also have said "Yes, I have it", or maybe even "Yes, mum".
March 11, 2013, 11:57am
2 years of wasted time just use it the way you like
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