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This is from Good Luck Charlie. In the park, PJ caught sight of an entertainer. He rushed to him, saying:

PJ: You're the guy who can help us. I was talking to a girl here earlier. We need to find her. She said you worked a birthday party for her brother.

The entertainer: "So? I've worked lots of parties."

PJ: "Where was the party where you fell on the cake?"

The entertainer: "You got three hours?" (Laughter from the audience)

What does the last sentence "You got three hours?" mean?

2 Answers 2

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The entertainer is humorously asking for 3 hours to describe the party or to list all the parties where it (falling on a cake) happened to him.

You got three hours?

means

Have you got three hours?

Do you have three hours?

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    Thank you. In that case, he should say "will you have three hours?"
    – Stephen
    Feb 4 at 9:27
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    In American English “have got” is often or even usually used as a colloquial alternative of “have” in its basic meaning. The statement here is meant to refer to the immediate present, so the speaker says: “(Have) you got three hours (now) (at this moment) for me to give a full and accurate account of all the wild things that happened to caused me to fall in the cake)? If he used “will you have,” it would seem to refer to some separate future occasion to discuss the matter, when no one has raised this as a possibility. Feb 4 at 10:26
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    The entertainer almost certainly does not mean 'three hours' literally - it is a humorous exaggeration. Feb 4 at 10:47
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    Have got is even more often used in as an alternative to have in British English, especially in negative and interrogative contexts. (Sixty years ago we simply didn't say Do you have or I don't have except in a habitual sense: we said Have you got and I haven't got (or more formally Have you and I haven't). This answer doesn't address the point that You got is colloquial for You've got.
    – Colin Fine
    Feb 4 at 11:03
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    @Stephen “Will you have three hours?” asks for a three-hour period starting at some future time. (And the conversation might then go: “Yes, I do.” “OK, I'll tell you then.”) Whereas, without any other context, “Do you have three hours?” is likely to refer to the three-hour period starting now.
    – gidds
    Feb 4 at 16:53
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@andrewtobilko's answer is correct in this case. But "You got three hours" (without a question mark) can mean something completely different.

Consider that you have a leaky sink and you phone a plumber. He answers and explains he can't come; he's committed to another customer for a very large job. He's just waiting for a phone call telling him where to go.

You counter, telling him you'll pay double his normal rate plus an expediting fee.

He counters and says "Ok, you got three hours" - meaning that he'll take your money and try to get the job done. But, if it's not finished in three hours, he needs to go to his other customer.

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  • What dialects does dropping the 'have' after 'you' completely occur in, rather than just contracting it to 'Ok, you've got three hours'? Feb 5 at 10:08
  • In this case "you got three hours" is short for "you've bought yourself three hours of my time". As in, you have those hours, you got them. Feb 5 at 13:50
  • My experience is growing up in Montreal Canada and then at 30 migrating to the US and spending 30 years here. It works in Canadian English (though it sounds American). It's very natural in the US
    – Flydog57
    Feb 5 at 17:14

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