I am used to hearing the positive version of "got" when it is used for meaning "have".

For example, I mean we can say "I got a car.", "He got three children.", "I got no money." etc.

But I am not used to hearing "I don't got a car.", "He don't/doesn't got any children.", "I don't got any money." etc.

I think in negative sentences, it is wrong to use "got" instead of "have", am I right?

Update: I know that it can be wrong to use the positive version in formal contexts. It is better to use it in informal environments. So, I wonder if it is wrong or not to use it in negative sentences since I am not used to hearing the negative version unlike the situations when "got" is used in positive sentences.

Update 2: I found this page. At the end of the page, it says "got" is available for plural subjects and first and second person subjects, but not for third person singular. So it seems like we can't say "He got three children" which is a sentence I used in this post.

  • Comments should not be used for discussion - use a chat room instead.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 20:03
  • 1
    english.stackexchange.com/questions/649/… Nothing in the long (and good answers) on that page is different from what I am saying. Also, see Peter Shor's comment.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 22:53
  • @Lambie I already looked at it. Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 7:36

2 Answers 2


These sentences are not following the rules of standard, formal English. In formal English, "got" is not a correct substitute for "have". "Got" is past-tense, and using it in place of a present-tense word would be jarring.

The usage you are describing is from a Regional Dialect. Regional Dialects are difficult and can cause confusion when learning a language. It would be wise to treat Regional Dialects as a separate language. They have their own rules, conventions, and implications. Using these dialects incorrectly is easy to do, and may give offense.

(For more information about this dialect, including some of the rules of grammar and usage, please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African-American_Vernacular_English )

To answer your original question, if you are using "got" as "have" as part of the AAVE Regional Dialect, you can also use "got" with a negative. This is often phrased as "ain't got", and Googling that phrase will provide many examples of this usage.

  • Using got for have is not a regional dialect.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 22:55

There are two things happening in the question. And I am laying out the basics for those who seem not to be familiar with the usage of got/don't got.

I got a car. in standard English means: I bought a car. Got means buy or receive. I got a ticket today.

I have car. or I have got a car. in standard English means: I possess or am the owner of a car. Standard English has two forms to mean possess or own:

  • I have a car. I've got a car.

(note: I have got x is also BrE present prefect here. So, be careful with that. Im AmE English, it's I have gotten).

These forms (and the interrogative and negative forms of them) are the same in BrE and AmE.

I don't got a car. I got a car. Not standard English: they are marked as uneducated or part of a dialect.

Using got with the auxiliary do and the negative do not got like that is marked as uneducated or dialectal. You can also say, along with other features, it is part of a sociolect. Call it regional if you like, but it really is not since those forms are basically used all over the US. This can also be viewed as Black English dialect or working class uneducated dialect but would have to include, in a person's speech, many more features to qualify as that. Just using this feature is just non-standard speech.

So, if you want to talk about children in standard English, you would say:

I have two children.

I don't have 2 children.

I've got two children

I haven't got 2 children.

Now, say, you are at a pet store, and then go home. You might say:

I got two fish. That means you bought yourself two fish. And now you have them or have got them (you own them).

have got is the same as have but is usually only used in speaking, not writing.

  • What am I not familiar with? Yes, "I got a car" can mean "I bought a car". But in the correct context, it can also mean "I have a car". Also, you can say "I got two children" instead of "I have two children". It seems like you are also not vey knowledgeable in this topic. Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 19:37
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    So, "I got a car" means you have a car if you want to speak like that. Then, all your speech features would have to meet that rule. If you only use "got" to mean have and do not got to mean not have, you have not mastered the uneducated register or the Black English dialect. Sorry. :) The question is: Can you produce an entire conversation using that register or dialect? Because if not, I would avoid it. Otherwise, it will stick out like a sore thumb.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 19:41

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