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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Have got and have?    

Have got and have?


Have got and have?
I�ve been looking on my grammars but I can�t find an answer.
When do we use have got and have?
I can say: I have got a sister.
But if I say: I have a sister.- It �s wrong?
C�tia Henriques

12 Oct 2009      

United States

They are both correct.
You can use them both.

One is used mostly in Great Britain and the other is often used is the USA
but I use both.

12 Oct 2009     


Hi C�tia

The meaning is the same . In American English  the use of  �have got� is common in speech. But they use it in a very different way. For example, the Americans  only use  the word �got� in everyday situations!
For example: "I got a car" means - "I have got a car". ( do not confuse with the past of the verb "get").
See you

13 Oct 2009     


American textbooks for students usually teach "have" whereas British textbooks use "have got". But what is most interesting - that in the past tense both British and American textbooks use "have". As to people [outside textbooks Big smile], I think it is very individual and depends on the area and other factors.

13 Oct 2009     


Both can be used in the sentence you gave as example: I have a sister, or I have got a sister.

The difference is only in grammar. First of all have got can only be used in the present. So, you can �t say �I had got a dog �, or �I will have got a car one day �.
Secondly, you can only use �have got � when it means possession. You cannot use �have got � with expressions like  �have breakfast �, �have a word with someone �, �have a break �, etc.. At least if you are 100% grammatical. I �m not that sure a native would agree when it comes to usage, not to grammar.
Hope it helps 

13 Oct 2009     

South Africa

Hi All!

As a native speaker of English, and more British English  I would totally agree with Silviamontra!

Hope this helps!

13 Oct 2009     

Enid Stella
South Africa

Silviamontra is correct - from a native speaker of English. 

13 Oct 2009     


Actually, "have breakfast" is a collocation like "take a bath/have a bath" - in theory, it really doesn �t have the same meaning as the verb "have" or "have got" - both "have and have got" by themselves mean to possess something...

Personally, I like to teach "have" instead of "have got" (if I can) because it leads to less confusion later on when students need to treat "have" as a regular verb or when they start learning "have to" since this "have" needs to be treated as a regular verb as well.

13 Oct 2009     


I have a sister / I have got a sister, meaning possession, both correct.
However, in Portugal, coursebooks tend to use have got (British English), following the teaching of the verb to be, to keep practising  the inversion: Have you got?, which is something difficult to our ss, since we don �t have this question pattern in Portuguese.
We usually introduce the Present Simple with the Verb to like and then with the daily routines, though I tend to agree with Zora. After these steps, I tend to use to have.
How come, teacher, you have just asked us "do you have...?" instead of "have you got"?
And I explain. Besides, our kids listen to American music a lot and they will understand that they can use both forms, the smartest , or more inclined to foreign languages, usually do; so , as far as possession is concerned, they can use both.
(since they don �t write how r u? or ain �t gonna in tests...)
 How come it �s wrong! I heard and saw it written in somebody �s song!   (Unhappy )
Cyberhugs to all.

13 Oct 2009