My friend sent me a document via Email and I wanted to confirm that I got it. Then I had doubt between writing to him "I've got it" (simple past) or "I've gotten it" (past participle). What is the difference between these two options in this context?

Normally, in irregular verbs, one of the differences between simple past and past participle is the using in a passive structure which requires the past participle verb for a passive voice ("For example "be gotten", rather than "be got". Also: "be broken" rather than "be broke" and so on). Even for active voice, as far as I know we don't say "I've broke it" or "I've ate it". In our case, I'm not sure if it's grammatically correct to say "I've got it" using simple past.


2 Answers 2


"I've got it" is not the simple past, it is the present perfect.

The verb "get" has two possible past participle forms: "got" and "gotten". The second form, "gotten" is common in US English. The first form "got" is used in both the USA and Britain. The verb get also has a past tense "got" that is the same in the USA and Britain.

So there is

I got it (past simple)
I've got it (present perfect, especially British)
I've gotten it (present perfect, American English)

In passive forms we have

An email was got/was gotten by me in the morning.

The grammar is correct, but nobody ever speaks or writes like that. There is no need for the passive voice in this context.

In many cases you can improve your writing by avoiding "got". "I've received it" is nicer.

  • Yes, what you say is right. Bear in mind that for Brits, I've got is present tense and present perfect. Anyway, both would say here: I got it.
    – Lambie
    Apr 1, 2019 at 16:24
  • I've got is not simple present. It is present perfect
    – James K
    Apr 1, 2019 at 20:29
  • I'm sorry but it is: English has two forms for the verb have (possession): have got/have in the present simple and therefore, the British present simple: have got is the same as the present perfect. I've got [have received] a lot of letters recently. I've got [have, own] a car in the garage. Same thing.That can never happen in AmE. We would say: I've gotten a lot of letters recently.
    – Lambie
    Apr 1, 2019 at 21:12

In addition to what James K said, please bear in mind:

to get means to receive, among other things. So, I received the email can be expressed as: I got the e-mail.

Please bear this is mind: principle parts of the verb to get: get, got, got {British English} get, got, gotten {American English}

WARNING: :) Be aware that the verb have (to possess) has two forms: I have a car, I've got a car. ONLY IN THE PRESENT TENSE. And therefore, in British English: have got is either present simple or present perfect.

  • We've got a lot of money recently. [British English] [received]
  • We've gotten a lot of money recently. [American English] [received]

get also means: to understand, to buy, and some others [get here, get there].

get + certain adjectives means to become. - He got rich.
- The glass got broken. [notice: broken, an adjective]
- She got silly when she laughed.

More usual is the question for: How did this glass get broken? [become broken, break] In the last example, broken is adjectival, not verbal.

Don't confuse: I've broken my favorite glass. [active]. My favorite glass was broken by you. [passive] AND My favorite glass got broken during the move. [became broken or came to be broken]

Finally, "I've got your email" is the same thing as "I have your email". Insofar as have/have got means possess. That means: your email is in my possession but does not mean "I received it", semantically.

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