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In this trailer of Frozen 2, there's this line:

00:46 OLAF: I’m gonna blow!

00:47 KRISTOFF: I got you.

It sounds to me more like "I've got you" but the subtitles say it's "I got you."

Regardless of what he actually said, are both possible in this type of context? If "I got you", but not "I've got you", is possible here, what's the reasoning for that?

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    Do note that closed captioning / subtitles are frequently inaccurate, even for dialogue in a standard dialect in a major production by a major media outlet like Disney. Human transcribers can mis-hear things, and machine transcribers often make bad assumptions about what was said.
    – choster
    Sep 17 '20 at 15:31
  • @choster There is absolutely nothing like that here. I guess you didn't bother to listen to it, did you?
    – Lambie
    Sep 17 '20 at 18:40
  • @Lambie As it happens, I also hear "I've got you" in the clip. My advice is neither wrong in the specific nor in the general.
    – choster
    Sep 17 '20 at 19:09
  • @choster When a thing is right, why go into all that business of poor transcription when here it was not about transcription but about actual speech....
    – Lambie
    Sep 17 '20 at 21:47
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I got you and I have got you mean the same thing. "I have got you" is a little bit more formal though.

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In colloquial American English: I got you = I've got you.

The video is very clear: I've got you. The have is not dropped.

It means I'm holding you and therefore, you won't be squished as they run along because the little dog (or animal) is in danger of being trampled underfoot by others.

If you are about to fall off a roof or cliff,for example, and someone says it, it means they are holding you securely (hands, rope or body) and that you will not fall.

Otherwise, spoken in other situations by adults, it can be short for:

  • "I've got your back.
  • "I've got you covered.

i.e. you are receiving help from the person who say that to you. You hear this a lot in cop shows on the television.

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I haven't listened to the audio yet, but I think there are three possibilities, all of which could make sense in this context:

  1. "I got", past tense, to talk of the past (including the near past)
  2. "I've got" = "I have got", past perfect tense, used to talk about the present, and
  3. "I got" as a variant of "I've got", meaning the same thing as #2, despite it being spelled and spoken identically to #1. This is generally considered incorrect grammar for standard varieties of English, but it's common, especially in speech.

Not only could they all make sense in this context, but they mean very similar things and sound very similar. #1 would make more sense if it were to mean "I understand you", or "I saved you (and you don't need any more saving)", while #2 & #3 make more sense for "I'm protecting you".

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  • Here, the meaning is that one characters picks up another to save it from being trampled. You should take a look at the video...
    – Lambie
    Sep 18 '20 at 16:12

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