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I see these two expressions are used almost identically in different contexts. Is there a difference between I have got and I have gotten?

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In UK English, "have got" is the only grammatical possibility. In US English, there is no situation where you could grammatically substitute one for the other without changing the meaning. So there is a difference, although it blurs when you combine US and UK English. –  Peter Shor Oct 28 '11 at 13:31

4 Answers 4

I try to avoid the "have got" constructions whenever possible. Usually where you feel like saying "I have got" you could substitute the simpler "I have" and no one would be the wiser. Unless you're speaking informally and using got for emphasis, as in "I have got to get out of this place," you can usually just drop that got.

As for gotten, I see no harm in using it informally in sentences like "I have gotten quite good at archery," although if you want to speak more formally you could say "I have become quite good at archery." Still, who would use the latter when boasting about archery prowess in a bar?

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I have got to go - I have to go.
I have gotten to go. - I have been permitted to go.

Gotten is archaic and should be avoided, except in typical phrases such as "ill-gotten wealth".

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In the US, we use "gotten" as a past participle; it's not archaic for us. –  Kosmonaut Nov 24 '10 at 14:41
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"have (got) to" is a different construction from "have got(ten)", and should not be confused with it. –  Colin Fine Nov 24 '10 at 16:59

In general, "have got" is the present perfect form of "to get" in UK English, while "have gotten" is the US English version.

However, even in US English, "have got" is used in certain instances, namely to mean present tense have (in the sense of possession, or to mean must):

  • I have got a lot of friends. (=I have a lot of friends)
  • I have got to go now. (=I have to go now/I must go now)
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Is "I've to go now" and "I've a lot of friends" considered grammatical? –  Pacerier May 13 '12 at 21:34
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@Kosmonaut I'd say that in those two examples, got is actually being used as an intensifier and not as a past-tense verb. In the first example, you can even use gotten instead and the meaning would change to something like "I went from not having many friends to having many." –  Jez Jun 10 '12 at 9:38
    
@Pacerier: They're both "grammatical" (whatever that means), but they're not interchangeable with the full forms in all contexts. Bear in mind the written form is really an irrelevancy here - it's real spoken language. There are many contexts where you can quite reasonably articulate "I have" as a single syllable. –  FumbleFingers Apr 3 '13 at 3:09

Gotten is probably the most distinctive of all the AmE/BrE grammatical differences, but British people who try to use it often get it wrong.

It is not simply an alternative for have got. Gotten is used in such contexts as

  • They've gotten a new boat. (= obtain)

  • They've gotten interested. (= become)

  • He's gotten off the chair. (= moved)

    But it is not used in the sense of possession (= have). AmE does not allow

  • *I've gotten the answer.

  • *I've gotten plenty.

but uses I've got as in informal BrE. The availability of gotten does however mean that AmE can make such distinctions as the following:

  • They've got to leave (they must leave)

  • They've gotten to leave (they've managed to leave).

From the The Cambridge Encyclopedia of English Language.

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protected by RegDwigнt Dec 5 '12 at 23:12

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