I barely say "got" or "gotten" and thus I'm trying to add it to my vocabulary. I live in the United States and fully understand they are best used in informal context.

I see a load of resources but some seem to contradict each other.

  1. https://www.grammarly.com/blog/got-gotten/ : If you live in the United States or Canada, you will probably choose gotten as the past participle of get.

  2. https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/get : North American English the past participle gotten

  3. https://oneminuteenglish.org/en/have-got-vs-have-gotten/ : Have got and have gotten are different

  4. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/120721/have-vs-have-got-in-american-and-british-english : too academic and beyond my comprehension

  5. "Gotten" versus "got" : didn't mention "must"

At any rate, in American English in informal speech,

when I need to say "I must leave now", can I say "I have got to leave now" or "I have gotten to leave now"?

when I need to say "I have bought an avacado", can I say "I have got an avacado" or "I have gotten an avacado"?

  • 1
    Does this help? I'm not American, but it's my understanding that gotten is only used in the sense acquired, obtained, so you would not say "I have gotten to leave". Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 11:19

1 Answer 1


The expression have got to meaning "must" always uses got, never gotten, even in AmE.

For every other use of get, Americans usually prefer have gotten to have got. This is not just in the principle sense of "acquire", but also for example get to in the sense "have the chance to".

In fact, in American English we can distinguish I've gotten to sing in a musical (= "I have been able to, have had the opportunity to, sing in a musical") from I've got to sing in a musical (="I have to sing in a musical").

In British English, both of these would be I've got to. Probably for that reason, get to is rarely used in perfect tenses in BrE.

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