I have watched a movie and in it there is a dialogue which confused me. So can someone tell me whether it is correct or not?

The dialog is:

tree is got to go.

It is from the movie Grinch (animated) at 22min. In the movie a neighbor brought a big tree so the hero got angry and said "that tree is got to go". It is either American or British accent.

At first I thought it was:

tree's (tree has) got to go.

but after rewinding it, it is clear. So is it grammatically correct. I am asking about the part of the sentence "is got" can we say that?

  • H-dropping is a phenomenon in many dialects of English. I’m guessing that’s what that was- has would be pronounced ’as in such a dialect.
    – Mixolydian
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 20:05

3 Answers 3


There are situations where a native speaker will drop certain words. Especially, if they are giving instructions or suchlike and speaking fast. And when one person is higher up on the totem pole than another.

When you talk really fast and idiomatically, you might say: Tree's gotta go. Yes. It's typical workman instruction-speak. And it is typical when looking at a situation, and commenting on it. And informal. the apostrophe s is has, not is.

Tree's got to go. = The tree has got to go.

He's been here for ages. = has been. The car's outside= The car is outside. The lake's been frozen for six months. [has been]

has [past participle] can contract with a name, pronoun or noun.

As for grammar,I call this the grammar of spoken English and you don't necessarily want to talk this way. The Grinch is very bossy and that's why he says it.


The exact dialog is

That tree ... That tree ... has got to go"

The Grinch has an American accent, and he clearly enunciates the words. You may have been confused because he repeats the subject twice, and there's a delay between the subject and the rest of the sentence.

As in many languages, in English it's normal to repeat the subject for emphasis.


Your first thought was correct. It is correct to say "The tree has got to go." "Tree is got to go" is wrong because first, you should say, "the tree" because you are speaking of a specific tree, and second, the verb "to have" should be used instead of the verb "to be." "Has" is the correct form of the verb "to have" to use is this case.

Just to add something I think will help you, the rule is to always capitalize the first letter of the first word of a new sentence. For example, "So can someone tell me whether it is correct or not?" You must also add a question mark (?) to the end of the sentence when you ask a question.

  • Thanks for the advice. Do the native speakers make the mistake of using is instead of has .Because the dialog was said word by word for emphasis .If so is it ok to do so while talking informally?. Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 18:44
  • 1
    @santosh vvns Yes, sometimes native speakers make the mistake of using is instead of has. It may be because they are using slang, and they are doing it on purpose, or it could be because they don't know any better. If I were you Santosh, I would avoid it (using "is" instead of "has" as the person in the movie did), even in informal conversations. Movies can be a good way of learning a language, but they can also contain a lot of slang usage and bad grammar. Be careful.
    – Don B.
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 18:49

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