Sometimes I find native speakers use "have got" and other times "have". I want to know what "have got" here is? an auxiliary verb or what?

  • The present tense of the verb have has two forms in English: have and have got. They mean exactly 100% the same thing.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 21:40
  • The discussion here is useful as well if you are interested in the past tense of "have got" - ell.stackexchange.com/questions/140842/…
    – rjpond
    Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 22:23

2 Answers 2


"Have got" isn't an auxiliary verb. If you regard "have got" as have + the past participle got, then the have portion of have got is an auxiliary verb.

Structurally and in terms of its history, "have got" can be regarded as a present perfect form. Semantically, however it behaves as a simple present, as a synonym of "have".

"Got" can be regarded as meaningless in the expression "have got". (However, occasionally "have got" is used in its full meaning of "have obtained" or "have fetched", at least in BrE. AmE would prefer "have gotten" in such cases.)

"Have got" is simply a colloquial variant of "have". The two can be used interchangeably a lot of the time, including when "have" is a main verb:

He has a television.

He has got a television.

They are also interchangeable in "have to":

I have to leave now.

I've got to leave now.

However, "have got" cannot replace "have" in cases where "have" is an auxiliary, nor where "have" is being used together with the dummy verb "do":

I have eaten lunch.

*I have got eaten lunch. (Doesn't make sense.)

Do you have a pencil I could borrow?

*Do you have got a pencil I could borrow? (Doesn't make sense.)

The interrogative form of "have got" is:

Have you got a pencil I could borrow?

although we also use

Do you have a pencil I could borrow?

("Do you got a pencil" is sometimes heard in AmE slang.)

  • Excellent explanation thanks but I still want to classify "have got" gramaticaly
    – Dave
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 0:10
  • I'm not sure how to say it any more clearly. Formally it's a (specialised use of) present perfect (from get). Semantically and functionally it's the simple present, equivalent to have. (The full OED says the same; it appears under get in a section called "specialized uses of the perfect".) (Cf Latin deponent verbs: passive in form, active in meaning!) In my experience, learners are encouraged to regard it as an alternative form of the simple present of have. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language also treats it as such. So there's a lot of support for that view.
    – rjpond
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 7:01

As far as I know it's American/British preferences both are the same no difference.

  • Please support your answer with more details.
    – Varun Nair
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 8:51

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .