Can we say one of them is more American English or British English?

I have to go to school.

I have got to go to school.

I got to go school.

I gotta go.

Gotta go.

  • 1
    Why do you think there may be a difference between AmE and BrE with these particular sentences? – ColleenV Jan 30 '15 at 1:47

From an Australian English perspective (which is closer to UK English)

  1. I have to go to school.

Very common and makes sense.

  1. I have got to go to school.

Could be used to emphasize that you need to go - perhaps because you are worried about being late?

  1. I got to go school.

Grammatically incorrect. You need "to" in there: I got to go to school. That is slangy, but would be a common way to say it.

  1. I gotta go.

Very casual (and doesn't say where you are going)

  1. Gotta go

More of a farewell. Could be rude?


From an American (somewhat Texan) English perspective:

  • "I have to go to school." This is the most grammar-school correct phrasing. Perhaps because of its correctness, it's fairly neutral in tone and meaning. This phasing simply states a fact that is true.
  • "I have got to go to school." This isn't exactly how I'm used to hearing this phrase. I mostly hear "I have got to go to school." (spoken emphasis on "got"). With this emphasis, I would assume a bit more urgency about the situation. Alternatively, if this is contracted to "I've got to go [to school]," I would categorize this much like the first statement (neutral).
  • "I got to go school." I don't hear this in American English. Sometimes I hear "I got to go to school," and that doesn't really carry any particular weight or tone. It's a bit more casual.
  • "I gotta go." Very casual/colloquial. Maybe it's just where I grew up, but when I read this, I heard a small boy whining to his parents to find him the bathroom.
  • "Gotta go." Very casual/colloquial. This is more of a generic good-bye. Since there's no other content, the destination/reason for leaving is not important to the speaker.

I can't really say if there are any big differences between this and British English. Comparing with Brendan's Australian English perspective, I'd say that there aren't many differences. Or at least that the differences are trivial.

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