Have and have got: differences

September 7, 2013pdf

Have and have got are usually possible with little or no difference of meaning. Both forms can be used to express ideas such as possession and relationships. For example, the two sentences given below express the same idea.

I have a sister. = I have got a sister.

Got forms of have are informal, and are most common in the present. Do is not used in questions and negatives with got.

I have got a car. (Informal)

I have a car. (More formal)

Have you got a car? / Do you have a car? (NOT Do you have got a car?)

Have got cannot be used to talk about actions. Only have is possible in this case.

I usually have dinner at 8 o’clock. (NOT I usually have got dinner at 8 o’clock.)

Note that have and have not are only used in the present simple. In the past tense, only had is used. Had not is not possible.

I had a strange experience yesterday. (NOT I had got a strange experience yesterday.)

Got forms of have are not normally used to indicate repetition and habit.

I have a meeting on Monday. OR I have got a meeting on Monday.

I often have meetings on Mondays. (BUT NOT I often have got meetings on Mondays.)

Note that have is a state verb. It is not normally used in the continuous form.

She has a sister. (NOT She is having a sister.)

However, having is used in a few fixed expressions. Examples are: having dinner, having a bath etc.

Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."