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When I watch TV drams or movies, I sometimes come across the expressions “I got it” and “You got it” meaning “I will do as you ask”. I am wondering if there is any semantic or pragmatic differences between them. I think that “You got it” is often used when a man accepts the order from the boss. Is my guess correct?

  1. Hotchner: Take pictures as many as you can.
    El: You got it.
    Criminal Minds, S1E2 (00:14:36)

  2. Mrs. Crawford: I would like a tiny bit of help, Mr. Crawford.
    Mr. Crawford: You got it, Mrs. Crawford.
    Criminal Minds, S1E7 (00:00:52)

  3. Cole: Get me out there!
    Crewman: I got it.
    Days of Thunder (01:37:56)

  4. SIMON: It has a proximity circuit, so, please, don't run.
    McClane: Yeah, I got it.
    Die Hard with a Vengeance (01:00:17)

  5. Beaver: Jonesy, don't try to lift that stuff.
    Henry: I got it.
    Dream Catcher (00:14:00)

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idioms.yourdictionary.com/get-it –  mplungjan Jan 22 '13 at 12:35
    
You got it, yet? –  Kris Jan 22 '13 at 12:47
    
possible duplicate of Using “you got it” in the sense of “you are welcome” –  FumbleFingers Jan 22 '13 at 15:11
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3 Answers 3

Both cases address the person's ability to carry out a task, while the pronoun emphasizes who the work is for, or who bears responsibility.

For your first two examples, it is indeed the response of a subordinate to a superior:

  1. Hotchner: Take pictures as many as you can.
    El: You got it.
    Criminal Minds, S1E2 (00:14:36)

  2. Mrs. Crawford: I would like a tiny bit of help, Mr. Crawford.
    Mr. Crawford: You got it, Mrs. Crawford.
    Criminal Minds, S1E7 (00:00:52)

While your last three emphasizes that the person is confident in their ability to complete the task, as a shorter form of 'I've got it covered' or 'I've got it under control'.

  1. Cole: Get me out there!
    Crewman: I got it.
    Days of Thunder (01:37:56)

  2. SIMON: It has a proximity circuit, so, please, don't run.
    McClane: Yeah, I got it.
    Die Hard with a Vengeance (01:00:17)

  3. Beaver: Jonesy, don't try to lift that stuff.
    Henry: I got it.
    Dream Catcher (00:14:00)

In other words, I think you've got it.

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The phrase you got it means your request will be carried out. It is generally used when the communication is between only two people.

I got it can be used to convey the same thing

I will cover this

as in the Example 3 in the question.

When the communication is from one requester to several possible responders, "I got it" can convey compliance with the request and also indicates which of the crowd will be performing the task.

I will cover this

However, I got it can have another, slightly different meaning.

I understand you.

That may mean I will carry out an explicit or implied request, such as in Example 4. However, it is sometimes just a surly acknowledgemnt.

Dean: You know you are going to detention if you keep this up.

Student: I got it. [And I may or may not behave.]

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What does "get it" mean?

1) Catch it. Receive a punishment or scolding, as in If I forget anything on the shopping list, I'll catch it, or I'm really going to get it when I turn in my paper late. [Colloquial; early 1800s]

2) Understand something, as in He claims his plan is reasonable, but I'm not sure I get it. This synonym for catch on was popularized during the 1980s through a televised political debate in which presidential nominee Ronald Reagan told his opponent, You just don't get it, do you? This particular phrase has since been repeated in numerous contexts where one is expressing exasperation at someone's failure to understand something. The phrase is also put in the past tense, got it, meaning “understood.” For example, We're leaving tomorrow.—OK, got it. [Colloquial; late 1800s] Also see get the message.

Brought to you by idioms.yourdictionary.com/get-it – mplungjan

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