What does

I got you


Does it mean

Ok, I understood what you said


Hey, I know that you did that?

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


3 Answers 3


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.

  • 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!" Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 20:05
  • @BlueRaja, wicked username. There's also "I got you babe" - Sonny & Cher Commented Jul 26, 2011 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.

I've never heard "I got you" used to mean anything like "I know that you did that".

  • ? Why totally silent on the other meaning?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 19:27

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.

  • drm?͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏͏
    – Pacerier
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 20:49
  • I changed my handle to Daniel
    – Daniel
    Commented May 15 at 23:07

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.