to have or have got ?

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to have or have got ?

Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-07-03, 18:45

Hi !

I'm always wondering what form is correct when I want to say that I possess something.

In German it is always just "haben" the equivalent form of "to have" which in German and in English also is used as an auxillary verb.
In Spanish it is solely said with the word "tener"

Whenever I want to say that I posess something I'm always very insecure what to say.
Is "I have an apple" just a thing that comes out of the colloquial speech or is it, too, gramatically correct?

I was too speculating, that one perhaps can use the word "have" without "got" when abstract things are to be "possessed". Like a problem that only exists in my mind but not physically as an apple. :shock: :P

I need help :D

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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-07-03, 18:49

Another form would be the use of just "got" without "have". I've heard people saying that they "got apples"..

I am sort of in a muddle, help help hel, I need somebody, not just anybody..but anybody of you english speakers ! :D

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Postby Moonshadow » 2005-07-03, 19:27

"I have an apple" is perfectly correct. In fact, it's probably the preferred choice in more formal speaking/writing.

"I got an apple" is colloquial - I think it started as "I've got an apple", but in quick and/or careless speech the "'ve" gets lost. Especially since "I got an apple" is also used to mean "I obtained/received an apple", where the "got" in this case is the past tense of "get", it doesn't sound wrong to people and they use it.

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Postby Stan » 2005-07-03, 19:36

Moonshadow is right.
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I'd get elected on Friday
assassinated on Saturday
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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-07-03, 21:03

Thank you !

I can now use this phrase more freely and not always fearing I said grammatical nonsense. 8) :lol:

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2005-07-04, 0:55

It's always worth pointing that, unless I'm too mistaken, one cannot say e.g. 'I have got dinner' for 'I have dinner'; that is, 'to have got' replacing 'to have' only works when it comes to possession.

One of my grammar books had some pages dedicated to the discussion of 'to have got' (and even to regional preferences for 'had got', too). I don't have it here with me, but I'll try to borrow one at the library this week.
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Postby JackFrost » 2005-07-04, 2:51

Not necessary, Psi-Lord. It can go beyond expressing possessions.

I got to go home.
I got to have dinner.

You can see, "got" can replace "have to" in this context. ;)
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Postby Psi-Lord » 2005-07-04, 3:02

JackFrost wrote:Not necessary, Psi-Lord. It can go beyond expressing possessions.

I got to go home.
I got to have dinner.

You can see, "got" can replace "have to" in this context. ;)

Ah, yes, the 'to have got' that expresses some sort of obligation. :oops: I guess I didn't think about it because I was thinking of it governing objects that are nouns, and forgot it's role in this case. Which is very funny, since I guess I basically use 'to have got' over 90% of the time in a situation like this.
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Postby JackFrost » 2005-07-04, 3:16

Also, my mind bonked.

You can say "I got dinner." It all depends what you want to say. For example:

If you look at your work schedule, and see you have lunch on Tuesday. I can say...

Oh damn, I got lunch on Tuesday.

But if you're in process of eating lunch...you can't say "got lunch", but "I'm having lunch." ;)

So, saying "I got dinner." does make sense for me. ;)

To express with using "to (have) got" is kind of difficult for non-natives to understand and master.
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Postby Psi-Lord » 2005-07-04, 4:09

Ah, there go so guidelines (not sure if it's totally valid for AmE, too, though):

'have' / 'have got'

When we are talking about possession, relationships, illnesses and characteristics of people or things we can use either have or have got. The have got forms are more common in an informal style.

Have got has the same meaning as have and both are used as present tenses. Note that have got is NOT the present perfect of get.

To make questions and negative sentences with have we normally use the auxiliary verb do. To make questions and negative sentences with have got we use the auxiliary verb have. […]

How many subsidiaries has your company got?

Study these further examples and note that in informal speech we often switch from one form to the other:

— How many subsidiaries does your company have?
— It has two.

— How many sisters do you have?
— I’ve got three (sisters).
— Do you all have your own bedrooms?
— Sue’s got her own bedroom, but neither Debbie nor I have. We have to share.

(Note in this last example that have to is used as an alternative to must because the need to share is imposed on the sisters.)

— Have you got a new car, Paul?
— Yes I have. I bought it last week.
— Has it got air conditioning?
— No it hasn’t. But it’s got a CD player.
— Do you have very many CDs?
— I’ve got hundreds.

Note the way in which we form short answers and question tags with have got and have:

— Have you got a sore throat as well as a runny nose?
— No, I haven’t.
— But you’ve got a high temperature, haven’t you?
— Yes, I have.

— Does this music school have enough pianos?
— No, it doesn’t.
— But you have enough opportunities to practise, don’t you?
— No, we don’t.

future forms of 'have'

Note that we normally use the have got form of have only in the present tense. For future reference different forms of have used. Compare the following:

— Have you got tickets for the match on Saturday?
— No, I haven’t. Not yet.
— Will you have them by tomorrow?
— I hope so.

— Have you got any time to help me with my maths homework?
— Not now I haven’t. Sorry.
— Are you going to have any time at the weekend, do you think?
— Yes, I’ll probably have some time then.

past tenses with 'have'

Similarly, for past tenses we use different forms of have, not have got. Compare the following:

— Have you still got a bad headache?
— Yes, I have.
— How long have you had it?
— I’ve had it on and off since yesterday.
— Did you have it at the concert last night?
— Yes, I did. I couldn’t concentrate on the music properly.

'have had' / 'had had'

Have had is the present perfect form of have, Subrata, describing actions or states which started in the past and continue up to the present. Had had is the past perfect form of have, which we use to talk about longer actions or situations which continued up to a past moment that we are describing. Compare the following:

— I’ve had stomach ache ever since I ate those spam sandwiches.
— I’ve got some pills which are good for digestion. Why don’t you take those?

I started out on the five-mile swim after I’d had a good rest. If I hadn’t had a good rest, I would never have completed it. But because I had had a good rest before I started, I completed it in less than two hours.

Note from the above examples that I’ve is the contracted form of I have and I’d is the contracted form of I had. It is also the contracted form of I would:

If I hadn’t had a good rest beforehand, I’d never have completed the five-mile swim.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv323.shtml
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Postby Kirk » 2005-07-04, 6:48

I think people are confusing some of the different uses of "got." The original post was asking strictly about possession.

In terms of possession, "to have got" and "have" are used around the English-speaking world. North American English tends to prefer "have," while other varieties tend to prefer "to have got." However, it should be noted neither form is alien to any dialect.

As an American my instinct is to use "have" in most cases.

"Hey, do we have any coffee?"

I would not say:

"Hey, have we got any coffee?"

Even tho that's still perfectly grammatical in English.

In terms of writing, I also exclusively use "have," matching up with how I speak. I believe in UK English "have" is sometimes seen as a more formal, written variant but here it's widely used conversationally, as well.

In terms of "I got" (not referring to the past tense but "I've got" without the /v/), that doesn't sound as natural to me as "I have," but maybe in certain colloquial contexts it might pop up. For instance:

"How many kids do you have?"
"I got three"

sounds slightly "off," but maybe something akin to:

"so...how many apples ya got there?"

in rapid, intentionally super-informal colloquial speech might be appropriate.

But, basically, either "have" or "to have got" will be understood the world around, so don't fret too much over its usage--either one is fine :)
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Postby allemaalmeezinge » 2005-07-04, 12:29

Wow, I am very surprised about how this thread developed. I now know it is totally different than I presumed before. I thought the "have" form were totally colloquial and might grammatically incorrect so I always tried to use "have got". But now as you all pointed out, it's clear, thank you for that. :D

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Postby JackFrost » 2005-07-04, 23:27

svenska84 wrote:As an American my instinct is to use "have" in most cases.

"Hey, do we have any coffee?"

I would not say:

"Hey, have we got any coffee?"

Even tho that's still perfectly grammatical in English.

Yea, I would agree. As I originally stated before, it all depends what you want to say. It's too natural for me to think it over, it just spills out of my mouth. ;)
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Postby JackFrost » 2005-07-05, 1:53

Even I say it. It's too damn hard for me to explain my own language out. :oops:
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Postby Moonshadow » 2005-07-05, 2:11

JackFrost wrote:Even I say it. It's too damn hard for me to explain my own language out. :oops:


That's a big part of the problem. Native speakers are used to just speaking automatically, and often can't explain why we say what we do.

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Postby Kirk » 2005-07-05, 7:13

Daniel wrote:
JackFrost wrote:
svenska84 wrote:As an American my instinct is to use "have" in most cases.

"Hey, do we have any coffee?"

I would not say:

"Hey, have we got any coffee?"

Even tho that's still perfectly grammatical in English.

Yea, I would agree. As I originally stated before, it all depends what you want to say. It's too natural for me to think it over, it just spills out of my mouth. ;)


"Hey, have we got any coffee?"

:arrow: Is how we normally say it here. :wink: And it does mean that we have got it in the sense of having received it but rather having or possessing it.


That reminds me of a funny story (which I believe was actually true--if it's not it definitely could be) I once read of an American who asked a British woman, "do you have children?" to which the British woman responded, "oh, yes, usually one a year." ;)

But, yeah, mostly there will be little confusion to English speakers no matter which form they use in whatever context--they may have their own dialectal built-in preferences (such as mine, where I would never say "have we got any coffee?" as I mentioned before) but they'll usually still understand the other form's intended meaning quite well.
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Re: The quotes aren't working.

Postby Saaropean » 2005-07-07, 6:12

Don wrote:Why are the quotes not working?

They are working if you do it right:

Code: Select all

[quote="name of the person you want to quote"]the text you want to quite[/quote]


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