have got



From one perfect aspect of get.


  • (file)


have got (third-person singular simple present has got, present participle having got, simple past and past participle had got)

  1. (transitive, idiomatic, especially Britain)[1] To have.
    George MacDonald, 1868, At the Back of the North Wind
    “Well, your mother has got three windows into my dancing room, and you have three into my garret.”
  2. (modal, idiomatic, with infinitive) To be obliged or obligated; must, have to, got to
    I've got to do my homework.

Usage notesEdit

  • Have got is not normally used in the simple past tense (had got); it is not considered correct to say *"Last year we had got a house in the city." Rather, had alone is used as the simple past. Had got is normally heard as an even more colloquial version of have got.
  • The have in have got is almost always contracted[1] (e.g. I've got, he's got, John's got). In the sense of to be obliged, the have is sometimes not contracted when got or the subject is stressed in the sentence ("I have got to go there." and "I've got to go there." are both common but "I've got to go there." is almost exclusively preferred in spoken English over "I have got to go there."). The uncontracted form is considered to be formal in Polish teaching of English.[2]
  • While have got and variants are common colloquial usage, in most cases the got is redundant and can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence. When have got or has got is used as the present perfect of get, then got should be retained. Example: "She has got under my skin".
  • In American English or in formal writing, have tends to be preferred over have got.[1] Usage of have got is more than twice as common in British English as American English; though it can be heard there too.
  • Because have got is considered less formal than have on its own, together with the fact that have got is almost always contracted (as 've got), American speakers may drop the contraction've frequently, particularly in less formal settings.[1] Example: "I've got a problem" → "I got a problem" and "I've got to/gotta do something" → "I gotta do something"
  • In American English, one normally says have gotten or has gotten when forming the present perfect of get, but nevertheless one uses have got or has got when the meaning is "to have". In British English, got is employed in both usages.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Costa, Sara; et al. (August 10, 2013), “"have" vs. "have got" in American and British English”, in English Language & Usage Stack Exchange[1], Stack Exchange Network, archived from the original on 26 October 2013
  2. ^ Ciećka, Dariusz (2010-01-06), “Lekcja 16 - Czasownik “have got””, in (Please provide the title of the work)[2] (in Polish), archived from the original on 26 October 2013