Is there any difference between ´I have´ and ´I have got´? I heard that ´have´ and ´have got´ have the same meaning when we talk about appearance. e.g. I have (got) a beard. But what about relationships or possession? Thanks for answers.


2 Answers 2


There is no difference in meaning between "have" and "have got" when talking about possession. If anything, the latter "have got" is slightly more informal. The contraction "I've" is very common, and has been used in popular culture along with 'have', for example, The Beatles' "I've Got A Feeling".

Supporting this, BBC 'Learning English' says:

When we are talking about possession, relationships, illnesses and characteristics of people or things we can use either have or have got. The have got forms are more common in an informal style.

If there is any subtle difference in usage among native English speakers, "have got" might be used slightly more in connection with things that we have obtained rather than things we have always possessed. For example, native speakers tend to say "I have a medical condition" to refer to something they have long-term, but "I have got a sore throat" to refer to something transient. Still, there is no rule about this, and both those examples would be just as acceptable the other way around. "Have got" is not being used as the past-tense of "to get" in this context, but perhaps the normal use of the word "get" has some influence over our choice in this matter.

Note that there are other contexts besides talking about possession where "have" and "have got" may be used idiomatically. As is often the case, context and tense determines which should be used, but as your question refers to possession of things (eg a beard) I will avoid confusing the matter with excessive detail on this.

  • When I was at school (and at home!) in the 1960s, I was made to understand that "I have got" meaning "I have", e.g. "I have got two eyes" was very informal, and definitely to be avoided. Apr 14, 2020 at 12:47
  • 1
    She has a shower every morning vs She has got a shower and They have dinner at 8 o'clock vs They have got dinner at 8 o'clock. There is quite a difference in meaning between the two.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 14, 2020 at 13:43
  • @Mari-LouA Context is everything. I feel like I should write that in every answer. "She has a shower" and "She has got a shower" can both mean the same thing, that someone owns a shower unit. You added "every morning" to one to make it different, that's cheating. Also "she has got a shower" can mean that someone had / took a shower in the past tense. But the question isn't about "has got", it's about "have got". In your example about dinner, both could mean the same thing - that they have dinner booked for 8 o'clock, so they are interchangable.
    – Astralbee
    Apr 14, 2020 at 13:49
  • 1
    There's nothing cheating about adding "every morning", it's illustrative and totally pertinent. Besides, I didn't post an answer. But the question isn't about "has got", it's about "have got" What? So changinging the suffix changes the meaning? :P
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 14, 2020 at 15:18
  • @Mari-LouA If you present two examples but with different context, that's comparing apples and oranges. When I took both your examples and removed the additional context you added to one side, it proved that "have" and "have got" can have an identical meaning in a single context. I've added a paragraph about idiomatic exceptions in an attempt to cover this;
    – Astralbee
    Apr 15, 2020 at 8:01

Is there any difference between ´I have´ and ´I have got´?

It depends on what meaning you want to convey, if it's the possessive sense then the two are interchangeable although some purists might argue that the form "have/has got" is more informal.

  1. I have a beard
  2. I have an aunt

have got is often contracted in speech:

  1. I've got a beard
  2. I've got an aunt

To be absolutely clear, there is no changing in meaning if the subject is in the third person

  1. He has (got) a beard
  2. He has (got) an aunt

See also: https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/have


TRANSITIVE ​NEVER PASSIVE to eat or drink something. This word is often used in polite offers and requests

  • Can I have another piece of that delicious cake?

But: Can I have got another piece of that delicious cake (WRONG)

  • Let me buy you a drink. What’ll you have?

But: Let me buy you a drink. What’ll you have got? (WRONG)

  • Why don’t you stay and have lunch with us?

But: Why don’t you stay and have got lunch with us? (WRONG)

I’ll have (=used for requesting food or drink in a restaurant): - I’ll have the roast beef, please.

But: I’ll have got the roast beef, please. (WRONG)

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