I started learning english.

Often we hear "Got it?" sentence.

So I'm confusing following two sentences. When should we use one over the other?

1) Got it?

2) Get it?

Thank you.

  • Just so you're aware, in many contexts, these phrases can be seen as rude or unprofessional. For example, if you were explaining something to your boss or coworker, it would be rude to ask "got it?" when you're done with your explanation. My parents are immigrants and they do this all the time. They're widely considered rude because of it.
    – dcacat
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 15:58

6 Answers 6


“Got it?” could be a question about whether a physical object has been obtained.

Ex.: I hand the coat to you. You’ve got it.

It could also be asking whether you understand something that has already happened.

Ex.: You explained to me how to get to the library. I got it.

“Get it?” might be a question about understanding something happening now.

Ex.: I am explaining to you the differences between these two questions. Do you get it?

It can also be about generally understanding something but not at any particular time.

Ex.: Do you understand the rules of chess? Do you get it?

Also it could be used in the same way as “Got it?”

  • 18
    There something about "Got it?" being in the past tense which lends maybe a finality to it. If you were to hear someone giving a telling off you might here them say "Got it?" as opposed to "Get it?" almost as if to say "I will not be discussing this with you again". Even though either "get" or "got" would both make sense in context.
    – JonM
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 16:59
  • 1
    Perhaps worth noting that in some colloquial contexts, "got" is treated as a present-tense equivalent to "have." You may hear "Do you got it?" before either of your first two examples.
    – Max
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 6:26
  • 2
    Saying "Got it?" to someone can be quite rude if you're not careful. "One more sound out of you and you won't see the light of day for a week - got it?!". This is extreme, but the phrase can easily pick up the tone of this type of statement, especially if you are explaining something. "This thing does this, that one does that, got it?" - it can convey passive frustration or irritation so one really needs to be careful how it is used.
    – J...
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 14:07
  • 2
    @Max NB that’s in American English only. To a Brit, “Do you got it?” sounds every bit as weird as “Do you seen it?” and is never used, even colloquially.
    – jez
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 14:25
  • 1
    @jez I've never heard it that way in American English either. Often "you got it?" but never "do you got it?"
    – gormadoc
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 16:27

"Got" is the past tense of the verb, and "get" is the present tense. Except that the past tense is irregular (it is "got," not "getted") this works the same as for any other verb.

Note that "to get it" has two different meanings: the literal meaning of "to have some physical object" and also the meaning of "to understand something".

  • "got it" also conveys the meaning of understanding something. I think OP is actually asking about the difference in the "understanding something" forms of the two terms.
    – mcalex
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 6:13
  • “Got” but also “gotten”(NOAD), which in part demonstrates this is a strong verb, not merely irregular. Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 16:35

Get/got = to understand.

[Do you] get it? Meaning: Do you understand what I am saying or explaining to you. Often expressed as: Get it? Present tense.

Now, for this meaning at a present time, we also use: [Have you] got it? Like this: "Got it?"

So both can be used to mean: understand something at a time in the present.

So, the reason either one can be used is that get is present but the present perfect (have you got it?) refers to the present time and when used as Got it? means understand, also.

Do not confuse that with: Did you get [receive, buy, etc.] it? That is simple past.

And: Have you got it? Which means: Do you have it?. Both those are present tense.

  • There's a subtle difference in meaning between "Get it?" and "Got it?" with regard to understanding. If you "get it", you understand it for now. If you've "got it", then that understanding is more likely to persist. My father and grandfather would say (parroting their military superiors I suspect): "Get it? Got it? Good."—the parts of which roughly translate, respectively, to: "Do you understand it?", "Are you likely to remember it?" and "I don't really believe you'll do it right, but haven't got time to explain it further."
    – jez
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 20:51
  • Yes, Get it? [present]. //Got it? [have you got it], then good. Just as I explained.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 21:56

Only difference between them is the time.

Get is the present tense form while Got is the past tense form.

-I get the tools. (I am moving to get it) Present

-I got the tools. (I already got it) Past

Also in the meaning of understanding something:

-I get what you mean by that. (I understand it right now) Present

-I got what you mean by that. (I already understand it) Past

Direct usage of get it / got it:

-Did you get the tools?

No, I am going to get it. (I am starting to move to get it)

Yes, I got it. (I already got it)

Also in the meaning of understanding something:

-I explained to you how this machine works, you get it?

Yes, I get it. (You understand it right now)

Yes, I got it. (You understand it already)

There are perfect tenses which are tricky and also makes them look the same but there is a little difference;

Get it?

-Me and my father were going to fishing today and he asked me;

Father: Did you get the tools?

Me: No, I didn't get it.

Father: Than go, get it. Yet offcourse we can always catch them with our bare hands. Roar! (acting like a bear punching fishes in the river)

Father: Did you get the joke?

Me: Yeah, I get it. I will get the tools.

Got it?

-Me and my father gone to fishing yesterday and he asked me if I have got the tools.

-Than he started to act like a bear punching the fishes in the river and asked me if have got the joke...

-I said I have got the joke and I am going to get the tools.

If you are talking about a close proximity timeline use GET;

-Excuse me I didn’t quite get what you said right now. Could you come again please?

but if you are talking about a long-past event use GOT;

-Excuse me I haven't quite got what you said earlier this morning. Could you come again please?

so a native speaker may not notice the difference between them yet there is a big difference about the time we are talking about.

  • 1
    "got" is past tense, "have got" is present tense. Basically all of your examples could use either "get" or "got" and a native speaker would not raise an eyebrow.
    – Blorgbeard
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 21:56
  • 2
    @Blorgbeard "have got" is present perfect, not just present.
    – CJ Dennis
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 4:25
  • I have understood your concerns so please check the edited version. It is more explanatory now. Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 9:05
  • You can, which I think is what OP is asking about here, say 'Got it?' in the same meaning as 'Do you get it'; whereas it is short for 'Have you got it'. This means that if you say 'Got it?' without 'have', it still means the same as 'Get it?'. It is not past tense in this case.
    – paddotk
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 10:22
  • It is still past tense because when someone says "Got it?" It actually includes the meaning that this issue is being told for sometime and the speaker is exausted. While using "Get it?" the speaker still have nerves to explain, issue is just told.. I always found "Got it?" more brute! as I do believe most are.. Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 8:48

You have to get the difference:

  • Got - Past Tense.

  • Get - Present Tense.

For example: When you say "I got it", that means that you already got that thing - whereas "I get it" means that you get that thing now.

  • Unfortunately, "Got" has come to be synonymous with "have/has", notably in the name of TV programs such as America's Got Talent or Britain's Got Talent, etc. I find these particularly appalling because the "'s" is itself short for "has" (and should be used with "gotten" rather than "got"), so they're saying "X has got talent" to mean "X has talent", which is one word less and clearly conveys the same meaning. Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 20:28
  • America's [has] Got Talent has nothing to do with this question. It is not short for gotten. It's one of two ways to say have in the present:have or have got. He's got money and He's gotten money mean two different things.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 21:54
  • @MontyHarder there's a subtle double meaning, where it means both "America has talent" as in skill, and "America has talents" as in people who are notably talented in some area. "America Has Talent" wouldn't put that meaning forward. I don't know how widespread that meaning of talent is outside of the US, but it's regularly used in talking about contracted hosts for events.
    – gormadoc
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 21:59
  • @Lambie AGT/BGT are just examples with which everyone should be familiar. The word "got" was originally the past tense of "get", but it has evolved to be synonymous with "have/has", even though it's quite possible that you got something yesterday, but no longer have it today, in the original sense of what "get/got/gotten" meant. That this new sense of "got" does not inflect into "gotten" may be related to its new meaning. Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 22:29
  • 1
    @Lambie Look at your last sentence. Now look at what Anish said above (that "got" is past tense). How do you reconcile those two statements without noting that "got" is both the past tense form of "get" and has become synonymous with "have/had"? You can't say "got" isn't past tense, because "I got a traffic ticket 20 years ago" is perfectly valid. However, "I got a wife and two daughters" is clearly not past tense. Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 22:46

I think none of the (current) other answers are correct. 'Got' is not always past tense.

From what I understand, you ask for either the phrase 'Got it?' or 'Get it?' as a confirmation after saying/explaining something. In which case they are not part of a larger sentence and 'got' is not past tense.

"I need that report today. Got it?" or "I need that report today. Get it?" are the same here. Got it is in this case short for "Have you got it" and Get it is short for "Do you get it"; both meaning "Do you understand?", and both being present tense.

In conclusion, you can use either one.

  • I fully agree with your first sentence. However I think there is a subtle (pedantic?) difference in the confirmation sense of the word. It's not easy to articulate but it's a sense of: 'I've told you something that should be understandable on first hearing' == got it? whereas 'I've told you something that you have to think to work out the meaning of (eg complex thought, puzzle, or joke) == get it? I wouldn't use 'Get it?' in your report example, for instance, unless I had just had to explain why it's needed today. Having said all that, I wouldn't say that usage is absolutely incorrect
    – mcalex
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 12:45
  • I agree that 'get it' is more likely used in a sense of 'do you understand', less sure if I can agree with your 'got it' example. There's indeed a subtle difference in contextual usage; but more a in prefer-one-over-the-other manner. I think they're almost fully interchangable.
    – paddotk
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 12:54
  • You might want to reread my answer. I said that get/got can both be used to mean understand and also that "got" in that sense can be used in a present time and that it comes from "have you got it", which is not past tense. So, your misread my answer and repeated what I said, basically. And get/got it means: do you understand what I am saying.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 15:59

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