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A woman is talking on the phone with her ex-husband:

"All I know right now is that I got two crying kids home Saturday who told me they didn't want to see you again, OK?"

The ex-husband had the kids over Saturday. It didn't go well.

I 'got' clear here to mean that the woman got the kids back home after they had seen her ex-husband, or could it also mean that she was just home with the kids Saturday?

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If I heard the sentence without context, my first assumption would be that she is using "got" to mean "have". "I have two kids here." The children are presently with her.

It is also possible that she means that they were somewhere else and she brought them home Saturday. "I got them home Saturday", like, "I got this box from the attic."

So yes, it's ambiguous.

In this example it makes little difference. Either way, the children were with their father before Saturday and now are with their mother. But I'm sure one could think of a context where the difference in meaning is important.

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  • What if it was the ex-husband he drove the kids back to the woman, would 'got' work in that case? Apr 5, 2022 at 16:00
  • @Bobobobobo11 Yes. You can say "I got X" whether you did the work of obtaining it or someone else did. For example, it is very common to say, "I got your letter", meaning that the mail man delivered it.
    – Jay
    Apr 5, 2022 at 16:08

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