I’m an English volunteer teacher in a village school in Russia and I got the following phrase in the Russian state standard textbook of English for 6th form (12 year old students): ...a verb ‘have got’ is used….

Do you think it’s right to say that ‘have got’ is 'a verb'?
Or better to say that it’s a present perfect form of a verb ‘to get’
Or it’s a present perfect tense of a verb ‘to get’?

I think children can be confused when they see 2 verbs named as just 'a verb'.

  • "Have got" is not a verb, it's two verbs. Two different verb forms, too. Like "будет жевать" or "стал плясать". So what the book says is an oversimplification. Which depending on the target audience can be fine. What's not fine is that the oversimplification is ungrammatical. It should read "the verb 'have got' is used".
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 0:07
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    yes, it's a verb. and there are many posts about have got on this site. Basically, have got is a two-word version of have (present tense), in the sense of possession: I have two cars = I have got two cars = I've got two cars. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 0:24
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    Possible duplicate of "Have got" — verb form and tense and a zillion others Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 0:45
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    These students don't have any assumptions about English; if they're told have got is a verb (which it is), they will just learn it. Think of it as an idiom, and an American one at that. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 1:55
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    In "I've got a cold" in 'BrE', an all too common expression, 'have got' functions just as if it were a single-word verb. "I have a cold" is equally grammatical with an obvious single-orthographic-word verb (but sounds pretentious in most circumstances). Some analyses label the multi-word verb 'have got' a verb . 'Make do' as in "We'll just have to make do [= manage] with what there is" is another two-word (apparently two-verb) combination that behaves as if it were a single verb. // Most native speakers don't ever think about the "Is it one verb? Two? Both" problem; it's 'just what we say'. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 13:07

4 Answers 4


In American English, have got behaves somewhat like a verb. Does this mean it is one? That depends on who you ask. But there is some justification for your textbook's position. However, as the OP says, calling have got a verb might be really confusing in ELL because there are lots of ways it doesn't behave like a verb. But calling it the present perfect might also be confusing for students of American English, because it doesn't behave like the present perfect in AmE, either.

Americans say (or at least some of us do)

I've got the tickets, don't I?

If we thought of have got as the present perfect tense of get, we would say

I've got the tickets, haven't I?

Furthermore, the actual past participle of the verb get (at least, when it means acquire) is gotten, and not got.

However, neither of these reasons for considering have got to be a verb holds in British English. So in British English, it may be better to think of it as the present perfect form of to get.

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    In 'BrE', contextless "I've got the tickets" is indeterminate between the senses "I have the tickets" and "I have acquired the tickets". The echo question would be "haven't I?" in either scenario. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 14:28

I have got is used in simple present and it is used instead of have in informal situations especially in speech..Have( got) is a verb and some grammarians call it idiom.

Have got is syntactically the present perfect in form but it is treated as the verb in the simple present.It is a combination of two verbs have and got but is used instead of have in the sense of possession

I have a daughter. (possession)

I have got a daughter. (possession)

I have got it. (I understand it.)

You can not say I have it in the sense of I understand it

Both the sentences which are used to indicate possession mean the same thing and have and have got are two forms of the verb have in the simple present form.They are used in the sense of possession.

Have got is not a single verb but get is not the past participle form of get here

Here is a link which shows the use of have got.


Here is another link:


  • I would like to know have got is a singular verb form which is equivalent to have or not.I would like to know the reason for downvoting. Even John Lawler says so. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 12:36
  • I assume it's because << I have got is in used simple present form means I have..Have( got) is a verb or you may call it idiom. >> is poor English. People reading it are likely either to replicate the mistakes, or consider that maintaining standards on ELU is not considered a priority. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 14:35
  • @ Edwin Ashworth. I agree that what you habigtualy say is correct.What about the other answers which you think are written in English are downvoted.What I understand is your voting system is unreliable because If we say they are two words, it is downvoted. If we say it is one word, it is down voted.Your site is not greater than British council.We can not consider the answers authentic in any competitive exams .They are just opinions.Even native speakers like you do not know what it is. It is a fact that I havegot is present tense Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 15:12
  • Neither the British Council article you mention nor the CED article have anything at all to say about 'have got' being a single verb or two verbs. So they fail to address OP's basic question. They merely explain how 'have got' is used by most (articulate) British native speakers. You need to go to more learned treatments (like McCawley or CGEL) to look at deeper analysis. // I was pointing out how poorly written your answer was as an attempt to explain a possible reason for the then -1 vote. Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 16:53
  • Please fix all the typos and formatting in your post. Also, "I have got it" does not mean "I understand it" to most native speakers; it means "I have it in my possession."
    – tchrist
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 2:18

I "have received" is finer in my opinion. In a case like " I have got the virus too." I'd offer the suggestion of dropping the word "got"; perhaps, or perhaps not, replacing it with "contracted".

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    This isn't a general discussion site. Answers should answer the question asked. If the question had asked for general proof-reading that would be off topic.
    – The Photon
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 5:35
  • thanks all. May be I didn't make key accent that it's a textbook FOR CHILDREN. Who don't know about present perfect, and Participle 2 of the verb "to get" and who will study it after TWO YEARS (by Russian state school schedule) - in such a case I am sure that it will make them confusing. So in this way I think it's stupid to teach children in such a way. The problem in Russia is bad-bad textbooks monopolised by one business company. And students hate English lessons coz they don't understand it in school Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 6:10

IMHO the answer is No. If we teach not english speaking children who even don't know what the heck is present perfect and Participle 2 it will break their brains when they see 2 verbs 'have got' but must call it 'a verb'. The problem is not a formal meaning if this can be called 'a verb' but result of teaching procedure.

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