English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am studying English and I want to know the main difference between “Have you got?” and “Do you have?” questions. Are they the same? Is one more formal than the other?

share|improve this question
Visit our ESL site area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/41665/… – Kris Jan 18 '13 at 7:12
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Contrary to the above, "Have you got" is more common in British English than "Do you have" (about 2:1); but "Do you have" is much more common in American English than "Have you got" (more than 10:1).

Note that the response includes only the relevant auxiliary: - "Do you have a pen"; "Yes, I do". - "Have you got a pen"; "Yes, I have".

In fact, the most common form where I live (in Northern Ireland) is simply "Have you", but that sounds old-fashioned to many English speakers elsewhere.

Have a look at the "Separated by a Common Language" blog.

share|improve this answer
Where did you get these statistics? Google Ngrams disagrees. – Peter Shor Feb 15 '15 at 12:30
I found where you got the statistics: the Separated by a Common Language blog. And one reason for the discrepancy with Google Ngrams is that "do you have" is rapidly gaining over "have you got" both in the US and the UK, and the British National Corpus was collected a decade or so earlier than the Corpus of Contemporary American English, and this time difference substantially increases the (already large) difference between AmE and BrE. – Peter Shor Feb 15 '15 at 12:38
Note that the Corpus has nothing at all to say about spoken usage. In AmE I hear "Have you got?" vastly more than I ever hear the other. – Robusto Jun 1 '15 at 16:27
'Note that the response includes only the relevant auxiliary' is true for the practice of most Brits, I'd say, but 'Yes I do' seems used almost invariably by many in the US. "Have you got a pen?" _ "Yes, I do". – Edwin Ashworth Jun 14 '15 at 14:13

The two are used for the same purpose, however, "have you got" is somewhat less formal and is popular in American English. So for all intents and purposes you can use them interchangeably. E.g.:

  • Have you got the money?
  • Do you have the money?
share|improve this answer

The word got generally bears a more informal sound to it, maybe because of its wide range of uses. In contrast, the word do, when used in this manner creates a structure that is probably unique to English. The latter option displays the verb-subject word order used in many other languages, while the former uses the do+subject+verb construction, which probably appeals to the native speaker's ear.

share|improve this answer

"Do you have" has an active connotation through 'do'. "Have you got" has a passive connotation through 'have'.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.