I don't know what is the difference between using "I have got" and "I have"
For example:

  • He's got broad shoulders.

Is it possible to say:

  • He has broad shoulders.

If yes, so what is the difference?

  • 2
    In the meaning of possession there is no difference. However, have can also be used as an auxiliary verb while have got cannot.
    – Vlammuh
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 17:01
  • 2
    – LawrenceC
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 17:46

2 Answers 2


They both mean the same thing, but, in the context of formal writing, stick with the second one. If you are writing a résumé, for example, you would want to avoid statements like:

I have got six years of experience programming in Java

and if you were requesting some vacation days next month, you wouldn't want to begin an email to your boss with:

I have got a wedding to attend next month...

Instead, it would be better to write:

I have six years of experience programming in Java


I have a wedding to attend next month...

In casual conversation, though, it would be considered acceptable to use the "got" version – but you still wouldn't want to overuse it.

  • Thank you very much for your answer. I was wondering whether there's any real difference. The thing is when I attended school, students in Russia were taught to use "to have". But at the moment, my son is taught "to have got" is the only correct form. As far as I understand, the latter tends to be colloquial form whereas the former is more formal one. (They study British English.) Commented May 4, 2016 at 15:19
  • @Alexey - Beware of anyone who tells you that there is an "only correct form" in English :-) I would agree with your assessment (though I am a native of the US, if that makes any difference).
    – J.R.
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 15:51

I was always told in school to avoid "got" wherever possible in writing. Nowadays though in international schools and in English classes in foreign schools out of the UK, all the lessons use and overuse "got". It really jumps out at me because I don't consider it good written English. In my opinion it is alright to use it colloquially when speaking but it is an ugly form of written English and usually quite superfluous. "I have a new dress" is far more elegant than "I have got a new dress".

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