Is have got acceptable English grammar? When can you use have or have got in English?
In this post, I answer these questions and more! I explain when you can use have or have got, the correct form of have got (hint: “Does she have got?” is NOT the correct question form!), and also when you can’t use have got!
In spoken and informal written English, have got can be used instead of have in four situations. You can use have got to talk about …
1. Things we own or possess
We have a house in Vancouver.
We’ve got a house in Vancouver.
She doesn’t have any money.
She hasn’t got any money.
He has a new car!
He’s got a new car!
Do you have a minute?
Have you got a minute?
I don’t have time right now.
I haven’t got time right now.
I have an idea!
I’ve got an idea!
2. Family and relationships
I have a new boyfriend.
I’ve got a new boyfriend.
Mike doesn’t have any brothers.
Mike hasn’t got any brothers.
Do you have any children?
Have you got any children?
3. People and physical characteristics
Carol has brown eyes.
Carol’s got brown eyes.
He doesn’t have blond hair.
He hasn’t got blond hair.
Does your sister have long hair?
Has your sister got long hair?
4. Illness or saying that you don’t feel well
I have a bad cold.
I’ve got a bad cold.
She doesn’t have a headache anymore.
She hasn’t got a headache anymore.
Do you have the flu?
Have you got the flu?
a. Have got CANNOT be used for any other use of have (for example, talking about actions and experiences):
I usually have dinner at 18:00.
NOT: I usually have got dinner at 18:00
b. Have got is ONLY used in the present simple tense. It CANNOT be used in any other tense:
I had a bad cold last week.
NOT: I had got a bad cold last week.
c.Continuous / progressive forms are NOT possible with these meanings of have and have got.
d.Have got has NOTHING to do with get. It is NOT the present perfect form of get. [In North American English, have gotten is the present perfect of get.]
e.Sometimes the have is left out of have got in SPOKEN English (it is not acceptable to leave out have in written English).
Here are some examples:
This is a popular advertising campaign for milk in North America. It should be “Have you got milk?
Got a minute?
In English a minute is often used to mean a short amount of time. People often say: “Got a minute?” which is short for “Do you have a minute?” or “Have you got a minute?”
I Gotta Feeling
This is the title of a song by the Black Eyed Peas. It should actually be ‘I have got a feeling.’ Gotta is not a proper English word. It is what native speakers sometimes SAY instead of ‘got a’ or ‘got to.’