I'd like know what is the correct meaning of this sentence: I've got to know

I don't know that sentence means like "I just understood", "I had to understand", or other...

Thanks in Advance!

3 Answers 3


Unfortunately, the word imperitivity isn't really a word in English, but it gets the point across, at least for me explaining the answer to your question.

As lurker pointed out, the closest relative would be must. Though, that is a bit informal, and if not informal, it's much more demanding.

I have got to have that guitar


I must have that guitar.

The first sentence suggests desire, while the second sentence suggests a need, a necessity. Although, the first sentence can suggest the same thing, the second sentence is to the point.

In order to play that particular piece of music I must have that guitar.


In order to play that [...] music I've got to have that guitar.

I believe the auxillary got is used more in America, and it is very relaxed, somewhat informal.

Here's a better example

I have got to pee / I "gotta" pee


I must pee

To say that you must do something sounds a bit entitling. It sounds very elitist. It's almost as bad as telling someone,

I shall pee

When in doubt, and you're in the US, just use got to / gotta


GOT (auxiliary verb)

  1. (informal) must; have got (followed by an infinitive).

The two common synonyms are must and need. You can show off by using the archaic must needs.

This is street-level, conversational English at it's best. Anytime you see something you like in a shop window, or an attractive person walks by: I've got to have it.

You can dig even deeper into the world of slang with: That is so mine.


Your question seems to ask possibly two different things

A) You don't know something and want to know it

I've got to know
I need to know
I must know

Is telling someone you are missing some sort of understanding and want to learn about the pieces you are missing. Got gives your sentence a very strong desire.

B) You did not know something and now know it

I've gotten to know
I've learned about
I've become familiar with

These mean to know about something and understand what it is or how it works

Your example sentence

I just understood

could mean two different things depending on context

1) immediacy

I just understood after you explained it to me
I just now understood after you explained it to me (this very moment)

2) limitation

I just understood the beginning of the instructions and nothing else
I only undertook the beginning of the instructions and nothing else

  • Are you a native speaker? And is it really true that the sentence can be interpreted in two ways as you wrote in your answer ? Is there any other sources to support your opinion?
    – GKK
    Oct 6, 2018 at 11:27
  • @EvaristeGalois I am a native speaker and the two interpretations of "I just understood" (without firther context) might be "I just (now) understood" or "I just (barely) understood" which could also be "I (only) just understood".
    – Peter
    Oct 7, 2018 at 18:04
  • I mean I've never come across I've got to know meant for B. IMO, have got to is used only to express kinds of obligation.
    – GKK
    Oct 8, 2018 at 0:39

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