If I understand it correctly, one cannot use "have got" to describe repeated actions/events, can one?

So it is wrong to say 'Bill has got athletics club on Monday' to mean 'Bill has got athletics club on Mondays'?


  • This question will probably be closed as it should go on ELL. In English, the verb to have has two present simple forms: have AND have got. So your sentence could have either one.
    – Lambie
    Jan 2 at 18:19
  • 1
    Whether you include got or not has nothing to do with whether or not the action is repeated. Jan 2 at 18:54
  • 1
    It's the difference between Mondays and Monday which makes the difference. The two sentences don't mean the same thing, but it has nothing to do with has got. Jan 2 at 18:59
  • @KateBunting You mean, sentences like "I've got to feed my cat fresh fish every time it refuses to eat its dry feed." are fine?
    – Didyougo
    Jan 2 at 20:22
  • I think this question is attracting answers focusing on the wrong thing. As it stands, I think your focus is on "repeated events" vs one-time events. Please edit to clarify. Jan 2 at 21:22

2 Answers 2


There is certainly no error in "Bill has got athletics club on Mondays". If you have the singular "on Monday" you allow the meaning "Bill has athletics club on this Monday." In this case, it is not given if that is expected to repeat on other Mondays. The situation would matter. Clubs, lessons at school or some meetings are expected to repeat. Tests or appointments don't repeat. So "I have the club on Monday" and "I have a test on Monday" would be understood differently.

There is nothing special about "have got" here. A more formal "Bill has athletics club on Monday(s)" would work the same. There might also be tense support "Bill attends club on Monday" = every week, but compare with "Bill will attend athletics club on Monday.

Now, don't mix up "have got" in this sense with the sense of obligation expressed by "have got to {do something}". If you say "Bill has got to go to athletics club on Monday." it is not given if he is obliged to go on each Monday.

It is worth noting that many of these "have got" expressions would be better expressed as "have": "Bill has to go to athletics club on Monday". This gives the same obligation, without the redundant word "got".

And so sentences like "I have (got) to feed my cat fresh fish every time it refuses to eat its dry feed." are fine.


'Has got' would probably not be used anywhere near as much in this sense in the US as in the UK. It is informal in the UK

  ( • "I've got a doctor's appointment on Monday"

    • "She's got double maths on Mondays").

More formal would be "I have a doctor's appointment on Monday" etc.

Note that "I've got a doctor's appointment on Monday" speaks of a single future commitment, while "She's got double maths on Mondays" speaks of a regular class.

There is no restriction of 'have got' to a single future obligation / booked event.

  • No, no and no. In fact, the famous ad: Got Milk? would come from: Have you got milk. I dunno where you Brits get this idea. It's a total myth.
    – Lambie
    Jan 2 at 20:18
  • And "She's got to go to her grandma's every time she calls." is fine too?
    – Didyougo
    Jan 2 at 20:24
  • That's standard: 'every times' is totally ungrammatical, and 'every time she calls' can (and must) stand alone as a frequency modifier (it doesn't need a preposition as 'on every occasion that ...' does). Jan 2 at 23:32

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