Talk:have got

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"Have" and "Got" should not be used together. To suggest this usage is acceptable is bad advice. Somebody either "Has" to do their homework, or yesterday they "Got" to do their homework. There is NEVER an instance where someone "has" to and "got" to do something at the same time. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 12:39, 17 October 2011 (UTC).

Patent nonsense. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:53, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Total rubbish - learn some English grammar. SemperBlotto 12:59, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Sum of parts?[edit]

Is this a sum of parts? I think it's an auxiliary verb and an action verb. Celloplayer115 22:20, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Tea room discussion[edit]

Note: the below discussion was moved from the Wiktionary:Tea room.

Help! There are apparently three classes of usage:

  1. as an auxiliary ("must"),
  2. as a defective verb ("to possess", "to own"),
  3. as dialect (?) past of get(become).

The "have" sense seems to be derived from the idea that "I have gotten/obtained X" = "I now own X". That would account for its being defective.

How should this be presented? Multiple etymologies? Multiple PoS and inflection lines? One PoS, multiple inflection lines? One PoS, one inflection paragraph? DCDuring TALK 16:58, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand why nº3. Surely that is simply the present perfect tense of "to get" (I don't want to get wet. You'll get wet. I got wet. I have got wet. I had got wet. etc.) and so does not belong here. We don't have entries for perfect inflections. That leaves two entries. The auxiliary should be at have got to and linked as a synonym of have to. That leaves just the one entry; "to possess", "to own". Put an also template for "have got to". Problem solved. IMVHO. -- ALGRIF talk 14:39, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
  1. The reason for including number 3 is to allow support the usage contrast. That could also be achieved with a usage note, I suppose. Also American written usage at least seems to favor "gotten" for the present perfect (except colloquially), judging by the first fifty entries at COCA.
  2. I think of the "to" as part of an infinitive rather than as part of a headword. It seems particularly awkward as it creates a lack of parallelism among the presentations of verb senses which take normal infinitives, bare infinitives, and present participles. Is the inclusion of the "to" of an infinitive in an auxiliary verb entry another undocumented Wiktionary rule? Is it standard lexicographic practice? Is it standard usage/idiom guide dictionary practice? DCDuring TALK 17:06, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
  1. The "got - gotten" difference should still be dealt with under got, not under "have got". These participle differences are not normally put into "have + verb" headwords.
  2. When dealing with modal verbs we have entries with "to" as part of the auxiliary construction, leaving the grammatical rule "modal auxiliary + bare infinitive" intact. See have to and be able to. I would also mention ought to, but for reasons that do not make much sense to me, there is a certain amount of disagreement over that particular entry. -- ALGRIF talk 17:20, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
What started me on this entry was a redlink to have got to. My objection would apply to all of the entries you have mentioned. This seems to be the kind of splitting of an infinitive that is pernicious. The "to" in each of these is indistinguishable from the "to" in many other verb constructions. Is it the current fashion to move the "to" to the auxilliary in all cases? Does this facilitate language learning? Will we be moving the "-ing" soon? DCDuring TALK 18:07, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Ok what about You've got a package waiting, She's got egg on her face, You've got another think comin'!, I've got you under my skin -- Thisis0 17:40, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Is the problem that they are contractions or that we've not got the appropriate sense of have? I've not gotten around to considering that question. DCDuring TALK 18:07, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
What we have here is a limited number of AUXILIARY MODAL VERB FORMS. shall, should, will, would, can, could, may, might, must, need, dare, be able to, have to, ought to, be bound to, and (colloquially) have got to. A limited set, as I say. They perform a specific grammatical function as modal auxiliaries, and they follow a set of pretty strict rules, one of which is that they are followed by a BARE infinitive. I recommend you check any decent grammar reference about this, and you will find that it has absolutely nothing to do with split infinitives. These entries (with the "to") are what will be searched. It must be , (or has to be) understood that, for instance, "had to" IS the past form of "must". Another for instance is putting two modal concepts together, such as "can" in the future: "tomorrow I will be able to come" = "tomorrow I can come." And so on. The fact that have got caused you to cry for help surely demonstrates that I possibly am right, wouldn't you say? -- ALGRIF talk 19:11, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
need, dare, and ought certainly are used both with ordinary and bare infinitives. It seems highly artificial to split their entries to create the homogeneous class of modals that you seem to be seeking.
I can't speak whether metaphysically "had to" is a past form of "must". To me it appears to be vastly more straightforward to present "must" as simply defective, with "have to" is a non-defective synonym for some of its senses, perhaps with a usage note.
Further, it seems again vastly more straightforward and in line with universal lexicographic practice that any entries of modals with "to" should simply be redirects to the bare modal. This has the enormous presentation advantage of allowing a user to compare and contrast closely related senses. That they are colloquially used without any expressed infinitive, but with "to", is the principal justification for the redirects in all of these cases. DCDuring TALK 16:59, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Please look here. They explain it much better in Wikipedia than I can in this discussion page. -- ALGRIF talk 17:31, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

DCDuring is right the rest of you got way to involved. Those are all possible colloquial senses of that verbal construction and it is a fair question as to how they should be notated. My best thought would be as separate definitions with something to demarcate a change in verbal aspect in each. -VitaminN

Needs more work[edit]

I don't know whether what I said in the above discussion was 100% correct. I do know that there has been a lot of ink spilled on this, some of which is fairly accessible. We need to review and coordinate the entries for must, have to, and have got, and consider whether at least some of the have got entry should be at [[have got to]]. DCDuring TALK 00:15, 27 October 2013 (UTC)


Apparently, school students in Poland who choose e.g. "I have a car" over "I have got a car" are marked as incorrect in exams. My guess is that since the contracted form is informal, someone or some people (a pedagogical committee) in the Polish educational system a decade or so ago (correctly) inferred that the uncontracted form is formal, without realising that it's a formal form which is almost never used. Institutional machinery then embedded this into the system, amplifying it so that it became a standard in what presumably defines the Polish dialect of English (again, just my speculation). I put in an example reference (in Polish, necessarily) - it doesn't directly state that the uncontracted usage is formal, but it does state that the contracted form is colloquial, it concentrates on exercises with the uncontracted form, and it gives no warning at all about rarity of using the uncontracted form. Boud (talk) 00:26, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

The uncontracted form is not at all rare, but it does sound rather formal. Dbfirs 09:07, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Please check the two references more carefully. The stackexchange reference discusses rarity and the informality of "have got" (in the possessive sense). The reference illustrates Polish teaching-of-English usage; it cannot be considered to provide evidence of UK or US usage. You have not provided any new reference(s).
"The have in have got is almost always contracted[1]" (present Wiktionary usage note)
The stackexchange highest rated answers include:
  • "In both Englishes have got is more informal than have. As an aside, since have got is informal, it will almost always be contracted. So I've got two dogs is much more likely than I have got two dogs. – Shoe Jul 29 '13 at 18:08"
  • "Writing Maybe if we start with something we can all agree on: it's generally not appropriate to use "have got", let alone abbreviated forms, in formal written English, whether in Britain or America. "I have got a degree in Maths from the University of Bath" doesn't sound right for a written job application; "I have a degree..." sounds better."
So I see no evidence for your two claims. Boud (talk) 20:18, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Late comment: This is not restricted to Poland. When I learnt English in school in Germany, we were also taught to use "have got". I found it very relieving when some years later I found out that I could simply use "have" instead. (I think I never use "have got" anymore. Don't care if "have" is formal, it's much more intuitive to me.) Kolmiel (talk) 20:36, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

If you find a reference, then we can add it. Boud (talk) 20:01, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Removal of sourced "chiefly UK" information restored[edit]

In this edit on 02:47, 14 May 2015, an IP user removed the sourced information about chiefly UK usage. I've restored it. Boud (talk) 20:12, 8 September 2016 (UTC)