What is the difference between these questions:

  1. Have the clothes dried?

  2. Have the clothes gotten dry?

  3. Have the clothes gotten dried?

  • Clothes is very rarely used as a mass noun like that. We need some sort of determiner, either the or your or somesuch. Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 9:26
  • 1
    "Gotten" and the [british-english] tag are unlikely to go together (yes there are regional exceptions)
    – Chris H
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 11:43
  • "Have the clothes dried?" asks about the endpoint (are they dry?), ignoring the process of getting there. "Have the clothes gotten dry?" frames it more as a (long) process of drying and asks if the process has finished. "Have the clothes gotten dried?" implies that someone was responsible for getting the clothes dry and asks if the task was performed.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 5:02

1 Answer 1


I don't see any fundamental differences in whats being asked in these three questions. I've rarely heard "gotten" used in British English, that seems to be used more often in American English. Also, all three sentences would probably irritate the American English speakers ear. I know it's quite common in British English to say things like "Did she go to hospital?", but I don't know if that's considered grammatically correct. In American English you'd insert a "the" as in "Did she go to the hospital?". When you do that to your three example questions, A and B seem semantically identical. C, however, seems overly laborious.


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