32

What is the difference between following two statements?

  1. Have you got a chance to look into this?
  2. Did you get a chance to look into this?
  • 2
    The difference is that your first version is just plain wrong for the context you presumably intend. It should be "Have you had a chance..." – FumbleFingers Feb 13 '14 at 14:47
  • @FumbleFingers: What if he used "gotten" instead? – Noah Feb 24 '16 at 8:56
  • @Noah: You'd have to ask an American. That usage isn't familiar to me. – FumbleFingers Feb 24 '16 at 12:55
35

"Have you got a chance to X?" asks if the person has a chance to do something. E.g. "Have you got a chance to win the lottery?"

It essentially implies that being able to do something is mostly out of your control.

Asking "Have you got a chance to look into this?" would imply that "looking into this" is something that one is unlikely to do with out a lot of luck.

"Did you get a chance to X?" ask if the person has had time to do X. E.g. "Did you get a chance to go to the shop?"

It essentially implies that being able to do something is mostly constrained by other things in your schedule.

Asking "Did you get a chance to look into this?" would imply that "looking into this" is something that must compete with other things one must do to become a high enough priority to be done.

So 1) is about luck and 2) is about time management.

  • I don't think that 1 is necessarily about luck, although it certainly can be construed this way given that it is a nonstandard construction. "Have you got a chance to look into this" can simply imply the present of 2: Have you got time (now) to look into this, although it is nonstandard in this sense also. "Have you got time/a moment" would be expected, while, pertaining to luck, Have you got a(ny) chance of looking into this" would be expected. – nxx Feb 13 '14 at 14:52
  • @nxx "Have you got a chance to look into this" could be interpreted that way in context, but a native speaker wouldn't say it. – Matt E. Эллен Feb 13 '14 at 15:31
  • That's my point. As it is nonstandard, it could be interpreted different ways (or misinterpreted), which is why I said I don't think it must necessarily be interpreted as being about luck - it could also be interpreted as intended to be the present form of "Did you get a chance". It could be interpreted as either, or other, based on the fact one has to make some assumptions. – nxx Feb 13 '14 at 16:17
  • "Have I got a chance to X" is quite standard. – Matt E. Эллен Feb 13 '14 at 16:22
  • I can't think of a meaning for which I would say "Have you got a chance to look into this" or for which it wouldn't sound unnatural. – nxx Feb 14 '14 at 2:16
15

I'm no expert, however it seems to me that "Have you got a chance to look at this?" sounds a little forced- I think you're confusing tenses here.

For the past tense case, in which you are asking the second person whether or not they have looked at a document, stick to either:

  1. "Did you get a chance to look at this?"
  2. "Have you had a chance to look at it?"

which are basically equivalent in meaning. For the present tense example in which you are asking the second person whether they have time to look at the document now, or in the near future, better to use the simpler:

"Do you have time to look at this?"

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