For example,

1) I think you have a wrong number.

2) I think you've got a wrong number.

Is there any difference between the two sentences above?

  • 1
    Check out these links: link1 , link2 , link3
    – amin
    Aug 4, 2015 at 19:25
  • Thank you! Are the following sentences also same during the phone call? 1) I have John here. 2) I've got John here. Aug 4, 2015 at 20:46
  • I don't think you can use have got instead of have in this case. In the link1 i addressed, check out number 5 explanation. when you say i have john here, you mean you are hosting john. in this case that you are using have instead of verb host, you can't use have got. Note that I am not completely sure about my answer. you can ask somebody else.
    – amin
    Aug 4, 2015 at 21:06
  • Idiomatically there are certainly contexts where almost nobody would do without "got-support". For example, "At last! I'm glad to see you have [you've] got my point!". Where I suppose it's feasible something like that might have been said a century or two ago, but I don't think it would ever work today. Aug 4, 2015 at 22:12
  • What does 'I am hosting John.' mean? I thought 'I have John here.' means 'I have John with me here.'. Is my thought correct? Aug 5, 2015 at 1:04

3 Answers 3


There is no difference in meaning between have and have got, specially in your sentence.

The only difference between them is that have is used in formal written English (and of course in spoken English) and have got is used in spoken English.

  • If I use 'have' in spoken English, does it sound too formal? Aug 4, 2015 at 20:50
  • 1
    as far as i know, the answer is No. it is very common to use have.
    – amin
    Aug 4, 2015 at 20:54
  • 1
    'Have' is standard, neutral English, I don't think it could come across as too formal. 'Got' is also very common, but has a slight informality to it. Aug 4, 2015 at 21:08
  • 1
    Usage varies not only with register but also dialect and even (believe it or not) by the sex of the speaker, at least in the US. Aug 4, 2015 at 21:09
  • Yes, this answer is missing some fairly important information about dialects.
    – user230
    Aug 4, 2015 at 22:20

I have got is typically British. It is rarely heard in AmE, except as the contraction "I've got".

As for the "must" sense: I have got to...[do something] becomes, in AmE, "I've got to", which comes out sounding like

  • I gotta [do something].

Or, "I have to" [do something] which comes out as

  • I hafta [do something].

To add to the comments above, to "get" something is to acquire it. The reason that I have has a roughly equivalent meaning to I have got (or often I've got or even I got) is because one may be presumed to have acquired something that one has.

The difference between the two can be significant in some circumstances, for example when got is used as an alternate form of gotten:

I have got sick.
I have gotten sick.

This means that I have become sick, and I have sick isn't correct at all. The second usage is currently more popular than the first, but they go back and forth regularly over time.

  • 2
    Got is the usual form of the past participle in BrE. Aug 4, 2015 at 23:52
  • That makes sense. I guess I heard it over there more than over here. :)
    – BobRodes
    Aug 5, 2015 at 0:59

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