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19 / 05 / 2004

HAVE vs. HAVE GOT: meaning and examples

Good morning,

As you may know, in spoken English it is very common to use have got for possession (Sp.=tener/Cat.=tenir).

Example 1:
I've got a lot of free time now.

We can also use the non-auxiliary form of have alone.

Example 2:
have a lot of free time now.

Remember, in Example 1 have is an auxiliary verb combined with got and in Example 2 have is a lexical verb; it has it's own meaning, which is why we don't create the contraction I'VE in Example 2.

As you know, you can't create a contraction with a subject pronoun (I, he, she...) and a normal lexical verb. For example, I and GET cannot become I'ET. And YOU and LIVE cannot contract to YOU'IVE. Therefore, you should avoid saying sentences like ***"I've a book."*** and instead say "I have a book" or "I've got a book."

And of course, in the past tense you do not have the option of using the past of have got.

Example 3:
Last year I had a lot of work, but this year I've got very little.

You cannot say ***"Last year I had got a lot of work..."***

When in doubt, use the verb have for possession, rather than the combination of "got" with the auxiliary verb "have."

Today's Daily Vitamin has been a bit technical, so be sure to leave a comment if you have (or have got) any questions.

I hope you have a nice day!