And so this is really fascinating, because I think there are two components here that we we maybe intuitively thought about, just like Bob mentioned earlier, you know, there’s the lies that could get you killed. There’s also the lies that just feel cruel, or they feel like pathologically dishonest and then there are the lies where it’s like, I understand the ethical or moral reason that this person lied. And I think we can start to dig deep into just this very clean laboratory experiment to tease out some of those issues. For example, you’ve got your straight-up honest people, you’ve got straight-up lucky people, then you’ve got your just straight-up liars. Okay, those are the three groups that I think we would be pretty comfortable with if we were going to hypothesize what would happen. But the cheating non-liars and the radically dishonest people, again, the cheating non liar said, Well, I didn’t get it the first time. So I’m just going to keep trying until I do. So they kind of, yes, broke the rules. That’s why they’re calling them cheaters. But in a way, it’s almost like they, they tested the system until they could get to a place where they felt morally justified in saying, I reached heads, I get the money.

context: the speaker is talking about the result of an experiment on human behavior

I brought in a lot of text so that this can help you understand the situation. but actually, what I really want to ask you is the part in bold.

Q1) In bold sentence, If I use 'got' instead of 'have got', would the meaning change a lot? What are the difference?

Q2) The speaker said 'your' straight-up honest people. But I think it's not mine. Why is the speaker saying 'your'? Is that an expression peculiar to English?

  • 4
    This is virtually incoherent. But the "you've got" expression is an informal way (in the U.S. at least) to say: "if you were to categorize people in a way relevant to this issue, you might well select these categories." It is the most casual of colloquial speech and is designed rhetorically to imply that the speaker is agreeing with your proposed categorization rather than that the speaker is suggesting a categorization. Dec 24, 2020 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


This passage is very colloquial. It reads like a transcription of someone speaking quickly and without much forethought. I assume this is either literally true or a stylistic choice by the writer. Either way it's probably not very productive to worry too much about the detailed word choices.

That said, I believe the actual answers to your questions are:

Q1) No. "You've got" is an informal way to say "you have". "You got" is arguably even more informal but means the same thing.

Q2) Yes, this is an odd construction of informal English. The speaker knows you don't literally have any people. As Jeff Morrow suggests, the speaker here means to categorize people into three groups. The use of "your" miiiight be read as implying that anyone might encounter these groups - they're not specific to the speaker or their topic. But that's probably a stretch and in reality it's just a strange use of English.

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