Posts Tagged ‘have got’

Have and have got

July 27th, 2011 in English Learning

Have is often used to talk about ideas such as possession, relationships, individual characteristics, illnesses etc.

She has two daughters.
He has a bad temper.
He has no patience.
I have a bad cold.

Instead of have, we often use have got. Got forms of have are especially common in an informal style.

She has got two daughters.
He has got a German girlfriend. (More natural than ‘He has a German girlfriend.’)

In questions and negatives, have is almost always used with got or do. Note that in American English, short question and negative forms like have I? and I have not are not normally used.

Has she got a new car? OR Does she have a new car? (More natural than ‘Has she a new car?’)
I haven’t got an answer. (More natural than ‘I haven’t an answer.’)
She does not have manners. OR She hasn’t got manners. (More natural than ‘She hasn’t manners.’)

Note that got-forms of have are common in the present. They are not normally used in the past. We don’t, for example, say had got.

I had a strange experience last week. (NOT I had got a strange experience last week.)