Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with a passion. Learn More

Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with a passion. Learn More



Member Since

September 20, 2013

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Latest Comments

“my bad”

  • September 20, 2013, 9:25pm

And sorry to, I hadn't noticed that you already explained this in the context (my bad!)

“my bad”

  • September 20, 2013, 9:23pm

"My bad" is the informal, abridged version of "Pardon me sir/madam, my mistake." Bad is synonymous with mistake in that sentence, which obviously is a noun.

Sorry @TtheP, but that's my Generation Y reverse-engineered explanation. I never heard it prior to the late 1990s.

I’ve vs I’ve got

  • September 20, 2013, 9:16pm

In my region of the US, we only contract auxiliaries. I have a brother vs I've got a brother

If ... were/was

  • September 20, 2013, 9:06pm

@Dave, I too must disagree: when one says "if I/it/he/etc were to," you're speaking in the subjunctive mood. That's purely resevered for hypotheticals. Were is used will all forms in this construction.

If you're speaking about something that's likely to happen, then it's indicitive and was is used for the singular pronouns (except you -- always you were regardless of mood or number). In this case it's the speaker's choice; both are acceptable.

Also @Dave, my experience has been entirely the opposite of yours; I here the subjunctive used more in the US and see many others with the same experience as me. It's generally claimed that we use the subjuntive much more frequently in the US vs the UK. Either way, the subjunctive is rare in both.

Perhaps it's not used as frequently in Canada? It's taught/required (formally) in AmE.

When speaking informally, use whatever you like; people will most likely understand you either way (via context).


  • September 20, 2013, 8:43pm

Sorry @providencejim, to answer you more directly, yes one can generalize too much! (aka give an over(ly) simplistic explanation)


  • September 20, 2013, 8:38pm

PS @providencejim "Where I do expect better is from those who earn their living or their reputation from published nonfictional writing."

The NYT has their own style guide. It is as I said a flat adverb, which they use whenever possible. Most other publications use the AP Styleguide. Either way, I assure you that's not an unnoticed error on their part. It's quite standard; we all have our gripes (see: firstly/secondly) :)


  • September 20, 2013, 8:34pm

It doesn't bother me per se. I don't often say over simplistic, but I do often refer to explanations as being overly simplistic, an over simplification, or as being over simplified.

I suspect that you don't like the sound of 'over' as a flat adverb, but it can be one. I feel the same way about first/firstly (well actually, I should say second/secondly since firstly is not standard --- in this case, I prefer it sans -ly). Same thing for me with drive fast/quick vs drive fastly/quickly. Everyone of those are flat adverbs (i.e. over, first, second, fast, quick). The rest has been well addressed by others.

“I’ve got” vs. “I have”

  • September 20, 2013, 8:27pm

@Hairy Scot "he once got arrested" "he was once arrested"

“I’ve got” vs. “I have”

  • September 20, 2013, 8:18pm

PPS I also want to acknowledge that we do use got to and gotta (improperly) without have in the US, myself included. I'd NEVER use that in front of someone I'd never met before though. It's sort of like "letting your hair down" amongst friends.

“I’ve got” vs. “I have”

  • September 20, 2013, 8:14pm

OK. First, from the American persepective, 'have got' in the simple present tense to express obligation or current possession is perfectly good (albeit informal) English. I use it daily as do most of my native AmE speaking friends. It's NOT a Britishism; it's standard English! In the US, it's almost always said with a contracted form of has (I've got, we've got, she's got, etc.). The only time it's used in AmE without have being contracted is when one wants to express that the action is critical (e.g. I HAVE GOT to go now; I'm 30 minutes late for work!). As others have said, it's more comfortable and rhythmic to use in everyday conversations. Got and have are not redundant. They mean completely different things separately.

Second, in the US, 'to get' is used in both simple present and present perfect constructions, the difference being that we use gotten to form the participle. If you hear an American speaking, we (*should*) normally use 'have got' for present tense and 'have gotten' for the present perfect (I've got the book -- present possession vs. I've gotten the book -- present perfect meaning I've already obtained it).

Obviously, in BrE, got is used for both forms and gotten is incorrect. That is not the case in US English.

Third, @joelackey92 is not wrong grammatically (again, in American English) in his use of got. I got a cup of coffee and I got a new shirt are both 100% correct meaning SIMPLE PAST of get (as in: I got a cup of coffee this morning on the way to work; or I got a new shirt as a birthday present). I believe he was thinking of 'to get' as in 'to obtain' or 'to acquire'. That IS NOT colloquial. It's standard and is a completely different usage than what's being discussed here.

Last, it's a living, fluid language that we are discussing here (not that it matters; both are correct). Use which ever form you like in everyday, informal conversation. But, never write "have got" in FORMAL writing, particularly as so many object to the idiomatic usage.

PS I'd also like to agree with those saying that "have got" is the emphatic form of have as well.