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I know that this is correct:

I haven't got time.

But is this sentence also correct?

I don't have time

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  • You don't necessarily need either of the auxiliary verbs do or got - you can also just say I haven't time. But note that some dialectal speakers (AAVE, for example) might think that shorter version is somehow "affected, lah-de-dah". Aug 2, 2016 at 17:31
  • @FumbleFingers I thought "Have you a pen?" and "I have not time" are only used by BrE speakers.
    – Cardinal
    Aug 2, 2016 at 17:37
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    @Cardinal: Don't get too enamoured of that simplistic US/UK distinction. In actual fact, Google Ngrams suggests Americans are actually slightly more likely than Brits to say, for example, Have you no shame? Aug 2, 2016 at 18:20

3 Answers 3

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Have and have got (and have gotten) are used differently in British English and American English— in fact, it is one of the key distinctions between the two, though the American forms have reportedly become more common in the UK. Some examination is covered in What do "have", "get" and "got" mean? as well as What do you have to say for yourself? / What have you got to say for yourself? . Also see at EL&U, “have” vs.“have got” in American and British English and many others.

The Separated by a Common Language blog, by a University of Sussex linguist, offers a quick overview of do you have versus have you got for asking about possession. A search on corpora returned these frequencies:

AmE: Do you have = 3092, Have you got = 99. So 31:1.
BrE: Do you have = 245, Have you got = 450. So 1:<2.

In summary, she concludes

  • If you are on a UK street corner, say Have you got a pineapple?
  • If you are on a US street corner, say Do you have a pineapple?
  • If you say Have you a pineapple?, you risk assault for non-normative behavio(u)r.

Separately, it's not clear what your example sentences mean. As noted in Do you have a / the time?, if you mean you are unaware of the time of day, you would say the time as another answer has indicated. It can also be used if referring to some known block of time, e.g. I don't have the time to discuss this at the moment. But the zero article can be appropriate if referring to time as an uncountable property, thus I don't have time to discuss this at the moment.

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  • Flipping between BrE and AmE corpuses suggests the preference for including an auxiliary verb (I don't have time rather than I haven't time) only became the norm in the UK a couple of decades ago, and it was only a couple of decades before that that US usage shifted decisively. Aug 2, 2016 at 17:38
  • @FumbleFingers And of course, I tend to write, if not say, I haven't got time in the so-called "British" fashion. Lynneguist has a linked post on contracted have.
    – choster
    Aug 2, 2016 at 20:17
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Yes, it is correct. You could also say:

I haven't got the time.
I don't have the time.

Or replace the with any, enough, or sufficient, or a number of other similar words.

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In Britain, there are three structures for negatuves:

I haven't time.

I haven't got time.

I don't have time

In the U.S. people normally use the auxiliary do:

I don't have time.

So both the sentences presented by the OP are correct grammatically.

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