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"We got a dispute already open for that trade."

(An automated response to me trying to "re-open" an already opened dispute)

Is it an appropriate usage of got (past tense) with the present perfect tense "already" and "open" in the response? The sender of the response does not own the trade but they do own the dispute.

Is this mainly an AE expression? If so, how can I make it a more of a broad English response?

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    got as used here seems too informal, and often there is a better and more precise word to use. In this example, have would be better. – user3169 Jul 8 '18 at 0:49
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    A more broadly idiomatic reply than the original would be There is already a dispute opened for that trade. or A dispute has already been opened for that trade. or We have already opened a dispute for that trade. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 8 '18 at 17:34
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    If I had to guess the location of a native speaker of AmE who would say it as it is in the original, I'd say somewhere in the US South, perhaps Georgia or Tennessee. The construction is quite common there. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 8 '18 at 17:41
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This is an inappropriate usage of got.

The tense is less the problem than is the ambiguity of the definition of "to get."

The true meaning of the automated response is something like:

  • We already got (i.e., received) an open dispute for that trade.
    • "got" = simple past.
    • Definition of "get" = to receive.
  • We have already gotten (i.e., have received) an open dispute for that trade.
    • "have gotten" = present perfect.
    • Definition of "get" = to receive.

The usage of "got," however, is inappropriate because the ambiguity of its definition (not its tense) allows the reader to construe another different, unrelated meaning:

  • We already got (i.e., obtained) an open dispute for that trade.

    • "got" = simple past.
    • Definition of "get" = to obtain.
  • We have already gotten (i.e., have obtained) an open dispute for that trade.

    • "have gotten" = present perfect.
    • Definition of "get" = to obtain.

Before, in the first and accurate meaning, "We" referred to the recipient of the open dispute. That recipient was the regulator of trades and any subsequent disputes between trading parties.

Q: What were they doing with or to the open dispute?

A: Receiving it at some point in time.

Now, in the second and inaccurate meaning, "We" refers to a party who submits a dispute request for the regulator to open. They are now a trader, not a regulator.

Q: What were they doing with or to the open dispute?

A: Obtaining it at some point in time.

To answer your last question: Yes, this is formally ambiguous but likely obvious in meaning to speakers of American English who have more context than just the question. To ensure clarity you may simply not use the verb "to get" at all, and instead use a more precise verb.

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    A quibble: the original says got a dispute open, so neither "receive" nor "obtain" is the appropriate meaning here. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 8 '18 at 17:32

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