I'm used to hearing expressions like 'I got no money' or 'I got a lot of work to do', in which 'got' is used with the same meaning as 'have'. My British friends, however, always put strange faces when I say them. Is it correct to use 'got' instead of 'have' in these sentences? (I guess it's not proper English, but anyway, do people use it in casual speech?)

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    A more correct way, which is also common in the U.K., is to say "I've got no money". Americans tend to leave out the 've when they're speaking informally. We're less likely to leave out the 's in "he's got no money", although some people do that, too. Oct 28, 2014 at 21:14
  • So far I've got no money or got no money are the versions I hear in the US. However, I got xxx is what I've heard outside the US. Oct 28, 2014 at 21:55

1 Answer 1


You should also remember that in this case "got " is the past participle. If you want to use it in the present, you should say I get, which is a tad strange,

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    In 'I have got no money', got is not being used as a verb. It is the equivalent of saying 'I am in possession of no money', which I adjudge to be an adverbial phrase. So in 'I've got no money', got which is indeed a past participle seems to be employed as an adverb. Therefore the question of converting it to a present tense does not arise.
    – WS2
    Oct 28, 2014 at 22:26
  • @WS2 The past/passive participle of get is got only in your hemisphere; in mine it is gotten. Oct 28, 2014 at 22:48
  • @StoneyB - It's not quite that simple. See www-personal.umich.edu/~jlawler/aue/gotten.html
    – Erik Kowal
    Oct 29, 2014 at 5:17
  • @StoneyB Would there be a difference in meaning in your hemisphere between 'I've got a cold', and 'I've gotten a cold'? It is true that if needing to express the latter most British people will say something like 'I've gone and got a cold'.
    – WS2
    Oct 29, 2014 at 8:07
  • @WS2 Yes, indeed. "I've got a cold" = "I have a cold - so I won't be at the meeting." "I've gotten a cold" would be used with "Since last Thursday..." or "Every time I've been to Denver...". Oct 29, 2014 at 12:03

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