HAVE and HAVE GOT are used to show possession and they are very often interchangeable.

This is what you should remember if you decide to use HAVE GOT:


1. HAVE GOT is for spoken English

• Use ‘have got’ in spoken English.

• Use ‘have’ in your formal written English (business correspondence, essay, etc.).


2. Use contractions with HAVE GOT

If you want to use ‘have got’ when you speak, remember that you must use contractions (short forms) where possible. Don’t use the full forms. You should say:

• I’ve got – I haven’t got

• he’s got – he hasn’t got

• we’ve got – we haven’t got

• everyone’s got

• it’s got –  it hasn’t got

• they’ve got


3. Different question and negative forms

With ‘have got’ we don’t use helping verbs such as ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ to form questions and negatives.

For questions, we simply invert the subject and ‘have’ or ‘has’, as follows:

(+) You’ve got – (?) Have you got?

(+) He’s got – (?) Has he got?

For negatives, we put ‘not’ (n’t) after ‘have’ or ‘has’, as follows:

(+) You’ve got – (-) You haven’t got

(+) She’s got – (-) She hasn’t got.


4. HAVE GOT only in the present

‘Have got’ only exists in the simple present tense. We don’t use it in the continuous, past or future tenses.

• present simple tense: He’s got a problem.

• past simple tense: He had a problem.

• future simple: He’ll have a problem.


5. When we cannot use HAVE GOT

CORRECT    : I have lunch at 12 o’clock. [“have lunch” means eat lunch, NOT own/possess lunch.]

INCORRECT: I’ve got lunch at 12 o’clock.

CORRECT    : I have a shower every day. [“have a shower” means take a shower, NOT own/possess a shower.]

INCORRECT: I’ve got a shower every day.


2 thoughts on “HAVE and HAVE GOT

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