I live in the US. I sometimes hear some Americans say

I haven't got a response yet.

This sounds wrong to me; in American English (unlike British English) one would say

I haven't gotten a response yet

You would only use "have got" as in the expression "to have," e.g. I've got a few seconds, but not in the past-participle form, which is a key difference from British English.

Am I correct?

4 Answers 4


As I've said before, several different times, this is a very complex topic, with a lot of different threads woven together. Viz,

  1. got versus gotten, as past participle of get
  2. get as the causative/inchoative verb for both be and have
  3. have versus have got (or just got), all meaning 'possess'
  4. modal idioms like have to 'must' and get to 'be allowed to'
  5. constructions like be/get married/tired/sick, have/get it done/fixed, get/bring him a beer,
    among others

The basic rule in American English is that one does not use got to refer to acquisition, but rather gotten. Hence

  • I've gotten the flu

means that I just caught it and refers to the acquisition process, whereas

  • I've got the flu

means that I am now ill with the flu, having caught it sometime prior.

All of the idiomatic uses of get take gotten in American English.

  • He's never gotten {the big picture/his taxes done/me a beer/anybody killed yet}

but not

  • *He's never got {the big picture/his taxes done/me a beer/anybody killed yet}

in American English, at least.


In American English, have got is an idiomatic construction meaning have or must:

I’ve got a cat. (I have a cat)
He has got to go. (He must go.)

This is different than the standard present perfect, which uses the participle gotten. Have gotten means something like have received, have obtained, or—when it functions as a linking verb—have become:

I have gotten a letter. (I have received a letter.)
He has gotten a cat. (He has obtained a cat.)
They have gotten ill. (They have become ill.)

With its yet, your sentence would most naturally be expressed as:

I haven’t gotten a response yet. (I haven’t received a response yet.)

Still, in other configurations, an argument for have got could be made:

I’ve got only ten responses to work with here; that’s not enough data! (I have only ten responses to work with here; that’s not enough data!)

  • This is exactly what I understand to be the case. But the reply below yours says that "got" as a past participle is also fine in American English. The fact is, it's weird to hear "I haven't got a response yet" from an American as a past participle, but that's just my impression.
    – gene b.
    Mar 24, 2021 at 18:35
  • @geneb.: Well, people will talk how they will, so in that sense it’s “fine.” But the I’ve got the other poster refers to as “common, almost idiomatic” is likely used in the have or must sense I listed first. Mar 24, 2021 at 18:44

Got and gotten are interchangeable in past participle. Both sentences are legit and heard daily. User preference. “Have got” is generally less common than “have” in the US. But “I’ve got” is common, almost idiomatic.

  • 1
    Not in the U.S., they're not. I've got to go to jail means you're going to be incarcerated. I've gotten to go to jail implies that you are happy that you were incarcerated (which doesn't make any sense, which explains why nobody actually says it). Mar 24, 2021 at 19:28
  • Pay attention. The question was about “have got/gotten” in the form of past participle. When followed by an infinitive, as with you going to jail, “have got” is a modal verb.
    – user416741
    Mar 24, 2021 at 20:03
  • You were the one who brought up "I've got", which is only really common when it's a modal verb or when it means possession. And these are the cases you can't substitute gotten. Mar 24, 2021 at 20:22

An Ngram helps illustrate how British English primarily uses have got and American English more recently uses have gotten more:

enter image description here

However, in that long history, have got appears so frequently that I would be wary of calling it an error or a restricted usage. Obviously have got happens sometimes. Why?

Stroppy Editor explains the most likely reason - whether someone is talking about a static (possessing) or dynamic (receiving) situation:

In both countries, the past tense of get is got. In British English, the past participle is also got. But in American English, it’s more complex. Roughly: when talking about a static situation (possessing or needing) the past participle is got; when talking about a dynamic situation (acquiring or becoming) the past participle is gotten. So:

Yesterday I got a new guitar

I’ve got a great guitar

I’ve gotten a new guitar [...]

There are a few more examples and more explanation, but I want to highlight the last two examples listed here. Notice how either got or gotten functions fine. According to the rough explanation, got suggests possessing a guitar; gotten suggests acquiring a new guitar. If we apply the same expectation:

I haven't got a response yet. (roughly static - they don't possess a response yet.)

I haven't gotten a response yet. (roughly dynamic - they have not received a response yet.)

This split in usage is affirmed by other sources as well (PBS, "Language Myth 21: Americans are Ruining English").

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