I sometimes hear British people say "We've got ~" just like "We've got an apple", instead of " We have an apple." And I wonder if British people use "We have ~" or not. Is this phrase used in conversations in daily life?

  • 1
    This is pretty impossible to answer. It's not the kind of thing one pays attention to in everyday conversations... Jun 29, 2018 at 10:18
  • Really?That's a pity!
    – Mitsuru
    Jun 29, 2018 at 10:26
  • 'We have an apple' is either marked for emphasis or in a more formal register than 'We've got an apple' in conversational 'BrE'. How formal the construction sounds varies; 'I have it!' (for 'I've got it!' ['Eureka!']) sounds very dated and highfalutin'. Jun 29, 2018 at 11:22
  • Related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/451586/…
    – aesking
    Jun 30, 2018 at 17:55
  • I find that long, overly complicated answers can obscure certain basic facts. That is the only reason I answered this question. I have taught this have/have got verb forms countless times to ELLers. Maybe this should be moved. The first link to a duplicate talks have got being more informal. That is not true. What is true is that it is more used in speech than in writing. But it is exactly the same as have.
    – Lambie
    Jun 30, 2018 at 19:23

2 Answers 2


"We've got" is far more common. I speak only of Canada and the U.S. though; British English is a different language.

  • Before even following Edwin’s link, please notice that "We've got…” as "We've got an apple", instead of "We have an apple" is two things. First, even if not “the modern way", it’s pretty-much the usual form. Further, in this context it is and always will be wrong. “I have” means for instance “there is in my cupboard/pocket/on my shelf”. “I have got” means “I have bought and put into my cupboard/pocket/onro my shelf. The broad difference between British and US American speakers is the the US people are much more likely to get that right. Jul 1, 2018 at 0:12

English has two ways to say have (to own or possess) in the present tense:

I've got a car. I have a car.

The question forms for this are: Have you got a car? And: Do you have a car?

The negative forms are: I haven't got a car AND I do not have a car.

The tags are: have/has/ and do/does.

Both are used by BrE speakers and AmE speakers. I have no idea where misconceptions about all this started.

They mean exactly the same thing. Exactly.

BUT: be careful: In the present perfect tense, the British English also say have got while American English uses have gotten.

There is a famous advertisement in the US: Got Milk?

That ad means: [Have] you got milk?

There is more to be said about all this but this is where one starts.

  • Consider "I have breakfast at 07.00" and "I have got breakfast at 07.00" Are they both grammatical? Yes. Do they mean the same? No. Consider also "She has a lot of fun dancing" and "She has got a lot of fun dancing" Are they both correct grammatically and semantically? Simple straightforward answers may seem the best approach but you have got to be careful because there are always exceptions. Once you start listing these exceptions you find yourself getting deeper and deeper. And for what? A user who has vanished? A question that will be closed? Was it worth it?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 30, 2018 at 20:26
  • Best answer the older questions if you think you can contribute something new, or provide a clearer and better explanation.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 30, 2018 at 20:29
  • I have edited my answer to apply to possess/own. It is very clear for that meaning. I have edited my answer: have/have got to mean possess or own. In that sense, there are no exceptions. And it is pretty simple. "have breakfast" etc. is an idiom and does not mean to own or possess. Have got/have money, a car, etc. But play devil's advocate, I don't mind.
    – Lambie
    Jun 30, 2018 at 20:34
  • Thank you very much for the answer! I see how they are used!
    – Mitsuru
    Jul 5, 2018 at 5:32

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