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What does

I got you

mean?

Does it mean

Ok, I understood what you said

or

Hey, I know that you did that?

If they are both correct, when should we use which?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The meaning depends on the context. In (at least American) slang, saying "I got you" means either "I get what you're saying" or "I've got your back".

In child games of tag, saying "I got you!" means that you caught someone.

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2  
Or romantically: "I'm so glad I've got you." Or friendship: "You're the only one I've got / We've got each other" Or cornering someone: "I've got you now!" –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jul 26 '11 at 20:05
    
@BlueRaja, wicked username. There's also "I got you babe" - Sonny & Cher –  whoabackoff Jul 26 '11 at 22:19

We need some context to be absolutely sure of the phrase, but it often means: "I understand what you're saying." The "got" has to do with "getting" understanding of the other person's words. So saying you "got" someone is short for saying you received what they were trying to convey.

More literally, it could be used to mean "I have hold of you" or "I touched you", but I'm not sure that applies in this case, because you felt the need to ask.

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One meaning is the one "used to express satisfaction at having captured or defeated someone or uncovered their faults", also intended as not literal; You can see an example in The longest yard trailer. Look from the minute 1:32 to roughly 1:40.

The other ones are the ones that @drm65 and @simchona highlighted.

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It means I support you. As in I got your back.

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@tchrist the user is repeating the sentence in simonchona's answer, "I've got your back". –  Mari-Lou A Sep 24 '13 at 4:19
    
@Mari-LouA “I’ve got” ≠ “I got”. :) –  tchrist Sep 24 '13 at 22:45

protected by tchrist Aug 13 at 19:51

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