Constructions “Have got” and “Has got” in English

Have got and have - Grammar

Meaning and usage of “Have got” and “Has got” in English

The constructions “have got” and “has got” are quite common in the English language, especially in spoken English and in British English. It goes without saying that learning how to use these phrases correctly is essential to improving your language skills. In this article, we will look at what these constructions mean, how they differ, what they are used for, and we will analyze examples. You will also learn the difference between “Have got” and “Has got” in English.

If you are interested in the difference between have, has and had, read the article: What is the difference between have, has and had in English

What are “Have got” and “Has got”?

The constructions “have got” and “has got” are used to express possession, the presence of something, as well as to indicate various obligations or necessities. The form “have got” is used with the persons I, you, we, they, and “has got” with he, she, it. The word “got” is the past tense of “get”, but in the construction “have got”/”has got” it does not carry a time value and is used to strengthen the expression of possession or presence at the moment of speech.


  • I have got a new car.
  • She has got a busy schedule.

In this case, “have got” can be considered a synonym for “have” in ordinary cases, but “have got” has a more emotional tone.

Rules for using “Have got” and “Has got”

The construction “have got” can be used in the present simple tense to express the actual possession of something. By the way, in the American version of English, “have” is usually used instead of “have got.”


  • I have got two brothers.
  • They have got a beautiful garden.

It is also important to note that “have got” is not used in later tenses or in interrogative and conditional sentences. Example:

  • Incorrectly: Will they have got a dog?
  • Correctly: Will they have a dog?

The table presents the rules for using “Have got” and “Has got” in English.

I’ve got…I haven’t got…Have I got… ?Yes, I have.No, I haven’t.
You’ve got…You haven’t got…Have you got… ?Yes, you have.No, you haven’t.
He/She/lt has got…He/She/lt hasn’t got…Has he/she/it got… ?Yes, he/she/it has.No, he/she/it hasn’t.
We’ve got…We haven’t got…Have we got… ?Yes, we have.No, we haven’t.
You’ve got…You haven’t got…Have you got… ?Yes, you have.No, you haven’t.
They’ve got…They haven’t got…Have they got… ?Yes, they have.No, they haven’t.

Differences between “Have” and “Have got”

In some contexts, “have” and “have got” can be synonymous and used interchangeably without changing the meaning. However, the “got” in “have got” and “has got” does not change the basic meaning of possession or availability, but only adds an additional intensity or conversational character to the statement.

The combination and use of “have” and “have got” clearly depends on the context and the variant of English you use (British or American). In American English, “have” is more common and can often be found in written and formal speech, while in British English “have got” is a common option to show possession of something in spoken language.

In everyday speech, you may also come across shortened forms of “have got” and “has got” such as “I’ve got” or “She’s got”, especially in informal conversations.

It is also important to note that “have got” and “has got” are not used in the past or future tenses. In such times, only “have” and the corresponding forms “had” or “will have” should be used.

Functions and uses of “Have got” and “Has got”

  1. Possession: “I have got a new phone”
  2. Physical Characteristics: “She has got long hair”
  3. Health: “He has got a cold”
  4. Responsibilities or Necessities: The phrase “have to” is used to indicate the necessity of doing something, while “have got to” serves as a more conversational way to express the same:
    “I have got to go.”

When using “have got” and “has got”, it is important to remember that they carry the meaning of possession or presence in the present tense, and that their use may vary depending on which version of English you are learning or using. When choosing between “have” and “have got”, take into account the formality of the situation, your interlocutor, as well as the regional peculiarities of the language.

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