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I was paging through my grammar book and I came across with this sentence:

I was thinking of going to china next year, but it depends on how much money I've got.

I know ,here, past progressive refers to the future, but I cant figure out why present perfect tense has been used at the end? Does it have a subjunctive mode?

In addition, compare:

  1. I was thinking of going to china next year, but it depends on how much money I will have.

  2. I was thinking of going to china next year, but it depends on how much money I have.

In sentence #2, I used the bare infinitive have to imply subjunctive mood as matter of the fact that sentences similar to the highlighted one are extensively used in my native language (Persian) with subjunctive tone of voice.

Would you please help me to understand the difference(s) between these three sentences?

marked as duplicate by Alan Carmack, ColleenV, Peter, M.A.R., Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩 Jun 18 '16 at 21:31

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    I am not sure I've got means I've got until now or I've got until then (since then) – Ahmad Jun 18 '16 at 11:30
  • Analogy: As soon as I've got/earned money enough for a trip to China, I'll go there. – Lamplighter Jun 18 '16 at 12:00
  • @AlanCarmack How many post should I read? There are so many have/have got questions ? – Cardinal Jun 18 '16 at 16:13
  • @AlanCarmack And also, my question was not completely about have got vs have. – Cardinal Jun 18 '16 at 16:16
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I was thinking of going to China next year, but it depends on how much money I've got.

This is a very interesting sentence; there's a lot more going on here than you may suspect.

  1. In the first place, there's no question of a "subjunctive" here. This is immediately apparent if you transpose these verbs into 3d person singular, which is the only situation in which a "subjunctive" use of have would be discernible:

    ...how much money he's got, not he'*ve got
    ...how much money he has, not he *have

  2. The past progressive I was thinking does not refer to the future: the trip under consideration lies in the future, but the act of considering it does not.

    The past tense here may have either "actual" or "virtual" past reference—that is, it may refer to an actual past occasion on which you considered this trip ("I was thinking about it yesterday"), but it is more likely to mean that you're still considering it, but only tentatively. This very common tentative use of the past progressive suggests that you have in a sense suspended your consideration of the trip, because you've recognized a factor that prevents you from pressing on to a definite decision.

  3. Have got isn't necessarily a present perfect; how you parse it depends in large part on your dialect.

    • In American Englishes, have got is almost never a perfect: here the past participle of get is gotten, and have got is an idiom equivalent to have. It is employed only in the present tense. For a US speaker how much money I've got is a present-tense construction and is indistinguishable from how much money I have.
    • Anglo Englishes employ the same idiom (it's actually very old, going back to the period before the two dialects went their separate ways), but because in Anglo Englishes got is the past participle of get, the expression is ambiguous between present and present perfect.

      Consequently, Anglo speakers are far more likely to use have got in negatives and interrogatives, deploying have as an ordinary auxiliary: Anglo speakers tend to deploy have as an auxiliary (I haven't got enough money, Have you got enough money?) where US speakers usually abandon the have got idiom and use bare have with do support (I don't have enough money, Do you have enough money?).

      In fact, there is a growing tendency among US speakers to drop the have piece of have got entirely, employing got as a present-tense verb distinct from get. Consider, for instance, Gershwin's famous song:

      I got rhythm
      I got music
      I got my girl,
      Who could ask for anything more?

      And in some US speech communities this got may now be employed by itself with do support in negatives and interrogatives:

      If you got it, flaunt it, if you don't got it, flaunt it. —Mindy Kaling
      What do you got, if you ain't got love —Bon Jovi

  4. Supposing that you can distinguish present and present perfect in this context, there is a difference. Both are present tenses, and because have is stative both designate a state of possessing money at the time you're talking about; the difference lies in whether or not you allude to the process of obtaining it. Let's use the very distinct US forms:

    I have got money = "I possess money"—there's no allusion to when or you obtained it.
    I have gotten money = "I have obtained money"—you possess money which at some prior point you did not have.

  5. I have, I have got and I have gotten are all present-tense constructions. BUT ... In this context none of them necessarily has present-tense reference: any of them may refer to a future state rather than a present one. The ambiguity can be resolved by context; for instance, with a specific temporal locative:

    It depends on how much money I{'ve got/'ve gotten/ have} next year. We'll have to see.
    It depends on how much money I{'ve got/'ve gotten/ have} now. I'm about to check my bank account.

    Futurives with will are not ordinarily used in this sort of closely integrated subordinate clause; your final example will not be misunderstood, but it falls very strangely on the ear:

    It depends on how much money I ?will have.

    This is a very tricky area of usage, however: this sort of futurive will is acceptable in some contexts or with some speakers, and I haven't seen a definitive analysis of what sorts of subordinate clauses do and do not permit it. In any case, volitive will is acceptable: It depends on whether John will lend me the money, which means "whether John proves willing to lend me the money".)


In some speech communities, however, the deprecated ain't for haven't is common: I ain't got enough money.

  • Many Thanks, I think I should peruse this answer multiple times for some days. I am speechless dear StoneyB. – Cardinal Jun 18 '16 at 15:37
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Like lexical have, auxiliary have can be projected into the future.

  Will Team X win the Cup? 
    --Maybe.   It will depend on how many good players ...
        a) they have next year.
        b) they've managed to acquire by next year.
  • Thanks, I think I must find a way to get rid of my native language interference. I am obsessed with subjunctives. – Cardinal Jun 18 '16 at 12:31
  • We have few true subjunctive verb forms left, and even some of the ones that remain frozen-in-amber are sometimes recategorized as "prepositions". For example, "You'll rue that decision, come tomorrow." – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 18 '16 at 12:40
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    @Cardinal we (Persian) use both subjunctive and future verb not? .. بستگی داره چقدر پول داشته باشم .and...بستگی داره چقدر پول خواهم داشت... if we want to mention the future time we even can use present (however a bit odd)... بستگی داره چقدر پول سال آینده دارم... – Ahmad Jun 18 '16 at 18:48
  • is using next year obligatory to resolve the ambiguity? because otherwise how you would say ...how many good players they have right now... – Ahmad Jun 18 '16 at 18:52
  • @Ahmad Bull eyes, exactly, we do use both. But, I personally always use subjunctives. My another big problem is, English speakers use present simple tense ----- Instead of "It depends on how much money he have" they say "It depends on how much money he has/has got/...". That really makes trouble for me. – Cardinal Jun 18 '16 at 19:03
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The expression I've got is typically British English:

I was thinking of going to china next year, but it depends on how much money I've got

Whereas an American English speaker would say:

I was thinking of going to china next year, but it depends on how much money I have.

This is the same as your sentence #2. Note that have is not a bare infinitive: it is present simple. You can put it into the third person like this:

John was thinking of going to china next year, but it depends on how much money he has.

Referring to sentence #1: When we use a conditional, like it depends on, we can use the present simple to imply a future state- in other words, it's ok to say I have rather than I will have. The listener will assume that the speaker is talking about how much money he will have at the time the condition is applied (next year, in this case).

Here is another example of using I have rather than I will have with a conditional:

I will help you tomorrow, if I have time.

  • Is it right to say: "John was thinking of going to china next year, but it depends on how much money he have.", I mean subjunctive mood. I am obsessed with subjunctives in my native language :( – Cardinal Jun 18 '16 at 12:21
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    've got is only somewhat less common in US speech than BrE, but 1) it is somewhat deprecated in US formal use, and tends to be less used by women 2) it is very rarely used in negatives and interrogatives 3) as I point out in my answer, it is tending more and more to lose the 've element. – StoneyB Jun 18 '16 at 15:55
  • @Cardinal: no, it is not OK to use have. The subjunctive is used in only limited circumstances in English: see this link. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_subjunctive – JavaLatte Jun 19 '16 at 3:55

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