I can’t think of many examples where the word ‘got’ cannot be removed or replaced by better grammar. Often I see or hear I have got...something. I feel ‘got’ is superfluous. What are your thoughts about when it is necessary or grammatically correct?

  • "Got," the past tense of "get" is a perfectly acceptable English word that "got" to England via the Vikings over 1,000 years ago. Avoiding it will make you sound fussy.
    – SarahT
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 8:04
  • I remember a children's grammar book I read many years ago which said "GOT is a weed which grows in sentences", referring to those such as I have got an apple, where got is indeed superfluous (though very commonly used in everyday speech). But of course it is appropriate when it is the past tense of get. Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 8:04

1 Answer 1


'I have got coronavirus' (not true, just using it as an example) could be 'I've got coronavirus' or 'I have coronavirus'. The choice depends on your variety of English and what level of formality you are talking at.

'We got married in 1999, then got divorced in 2001' could be 'We married in 1999, then divorced in 2001', but that is much more formal.

'When I was at school, I got called a lot of bad names' could be 'I was called ...'. (Got + V-pp is very informal.)

'I had coronavirus, but I got better' has to use 'got', but I might say (more formally) 'I recovered'.

Is the word GOT ever appropriate? Yes, when it's the only possible verb (for example, the past tense of get a gold star, get up, get dressed, get ready, get sick, get better), or when it's the right level of (in)formality. Is the word GOT overused? Yes.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .