I once heard there is a difference in meaning between these two sentences in AmE. Is there any?

The possible duplicate Difference between "I have got" and "I have gotten" does not address this particular case.

  • 3
    Actually, it's fairly clearly covered by b.roth's answer. To paraphrase, gotten can be used in the sense of obtain, but gotten is never used in the sense of possession. Therefore, our sentences are equivalent to "I have a cold" and "I have obtained a cold." (or, more naturally, "I have caught a cold.")
    – Nick2253
    Dec 4, 2014 at 1:06
  • 1
    This is covered in this post, which is for some reason the most popular thing on my Website. Dec 4, 2014 at 2:49
  • Damn haters! Who does downvote such a good question? :) Thank you:) Apr 26, 2016 at 8:48

1 Answer 1


"I have got" a cold means that you "caught" a cold and still "have" it, that is, you are still sick.

"I had" a cold means that, at some time in your life, probalby recently, you have "caught" a cold, but you no longer "have" it.

"I have gotten" a cold means that, at some time in your life, you have "caught" a cold. You might or might not still "have" it. So, it can mean either of the first two meanings.

In usage, "I have gotten" most often means the same as "I have got" and it is used to emphasize the "catching" of the cold over the "having" of the cold. In particular, it often means that the person has only recently noticed that they have a cold.

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