Difference Between Got and Have

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Got and Have

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While "have" refers to the possession of something (or an article), the term "got" refers to the receipt of an object or an item. They are frequently used interchangeably in the present tense. However, they can be altered to the past tense. It is crucial to distinguish between the terms so that you can use them by the correct syntax rules. This difference in meaning can also lead to subtle differences between terms. Thus, we will discuss the difference between Got and Have that we can use in your daily conversation and for writing purposes.

Have vs. Got

The primary Difference Between Got and Have is their meanings in specific situations. Although the meanings of both terms are similar in most cases, there is a slight difference between them in the past tense. The difference between "got" and "have" refers to the differences between the words "have" or "have got". Other than that, "got" is the past tense for "get" and can be used in many ways, which are not what we will discuss here.

The present tense uses "Have". A beautiful house is one example. You can also write this sentence: We have a beautiful home. Both sentences refer to the same thing and are in the same tense: the present tense. They can be used in sentences that mean the same thing differently, or they can be similar, but they have their differences.

The present tense uses "have" and "have got", but they are not interchangeable in the past. In the present tense, we could write: They have a good dog or a dog. In past tense, the verb "got" cannot be combined with "had." This sentence cannot be translated as: They got a nice dog. This is an incorrect usage. It is an incorrect usage.

Difference Between Got and Have in Tabular Form

Parameters for Comparison Got Have
Significance The act of receiving an object or article is called 'got'. The term 'have' refers to the possession of a specific object.
Use in the Past Tense "Got" or "have got" cannot be used in the past to replace "have". "Got" cannot be substituted by "have" in the past tense.
Use This term is better suited for informal use. This term is better suited to formal use.
Preference British speakers prefer 'Got' and 'have got'. American and Canadian speakers prefer 'Have.
Contraction The contractions in the positive form of sentences can be used to replace 'got' with 'have got'. In sentences, the words "have" cannot be used in contractions in the positive form.

So the table shows a very basic Difference Between Got and Have. It shows tabular differences between the two. Let’s move and dive deep into the topic to know more about the comparison.

Although "have" and “got” both refer to possessions, they can be expressed in different ways. "Have," however, refers to ownership. The word "have" is used when someone owns something. You might write "I got a motorbike for my birthday" to indicate that you received the bike as a gift.

These words can be used in interrogative and negative sentences. However, there are some usages that are more common than others. Example: Have you got any money? No, I don't have any money. These sentences can be used in interrogative or negative situations where "have" is combined with "got", but the sentences below are correct, even though they aren't used as often. Example: Have you got any money? No, I don't have any.

"Have" can be used to describe experiences or actions. "Have got" and "got" can not be used to refer to any action. Example: I will have dinner at 7:00 p.m. This is where "have got" and "got" can't be used in any way.

The positive form of "have" doesn't have any contact form. The contracted form only uses "have got". Example: I have a car that is blue or I own one. It is not possible to write "I have a blue vehicle."

What does it mean to 'Have'?

In the present tense, the word "have" is used to denote possession or holding of an item or article. It is used to indicate ownership of an item. The term is also used in relation to obligations in relationships.

Commonly, the words "have" and "have got" are interchangeable in the present tense. Both can be taken to refer to the same thing. Their meanings and usage are drastically altered in the past tense. American and Canadian speakers use 'have' more often than their British counterparts.

Here are some examples of sentences that use 'have'

  1. Do you have the right to wear this dress?
  2. I would like to have ice cream.
  3. I must study for the exam.
  4. I must pay rent by the end of the month.

English students will learn to use both 'have' and 'have got' to describe possession. Both can be used to express what we have, as well as the relationships between us. I, for example, have/have had a father and a car. Students at the beginning level should be aware that "have" is preferable in US English and "have got" is more common in British English. Students may be confused by the fact that the US English uses 'gotten" as a participle for many verbs, including those with getting phrasal verbs. However, they will also use "have got" when expressing possession.

These are important points to remember:

  • The words 'Have' or 'Have got" are used to describe possession. OR Jack has a beautiful home.
  • When referring to actions, only 'have' can be used. NOT I have breakfast every morning at 8 o’clock.
  • Regular present simple is the question form for "have". You don't have a fast car.
  • The present simple uses 'Have' or 'Have got'. For the future simple forms or past forms, use 'have'. Example: She had a copy.
  • The contract form for the word 'Have" in the positive form is not required. For 'have got', the contracted form is used. Example: I own a red bicycle. OR I have a red bike. I don't have a red bike.

What is 'Got'?

The terms 'got' and 'have got' refer to the act of receiving an object or item. These terms can be interchanged and used as a replacement for the word 'have'. However, this replacement is only allowed in the present tense. Got is a Modal Auxillary.

Definition of the modal auxiliary

It is an auxiliary verb, such as can, must or might, may, that is used in conjunction with a verb that expresses a modality and is distinguished in English from other verbs by the lack of -s and/or -ing forms

What is a Modal Verb?

The modal verbs are a small group of auxiliary verbs that can be used with ordinary verbs. They are also known as modal auxiliary verbs or modal auxiliaries. Modals change the meaning of an ordinary verb to something other than simple fact. Modals can express permission, ability or prediction.

The main modal verbs are can, could, might, might, must and ought.

Modal verbs differ from regular verbs in many ways.

1) They lack any inflections; they don't have an –ing, an –ed, or even an s form for third-person singular.

2) Modal verbs are always followed by an infinitive form of verbs (unless the verb has been stated already); 3) Modal verbs don't follow to or aren't followed by to. This is a rare case.

The meaning of the past tense is changed. The meaning of 'have' is altered in the past tense. We could say, "I have gotten a cat." This sentence will be changed to the past tense so that it reads: "I had a cat" and not "I had gotten a cat".

The contracted form of "have got" can also be used with a positive meaning. The positively contracted form of "have" cannot be used in grammatically correct sentences.

Here are some examples of sentences that use 'got':

  1. I received a penny from the side lane.
  2. For her 18th birthday, she bought a car.
  3. For winning the 100-meter race, I received a gold medal.
  4. She was able to escape the crime.

When should you use Got and when should you not?

These words are often mistakenly referred to as synonyms by students, but they are not. Students mistakenly consider these words synonyms because they both mean the same thing. To acquire or obtain something. This is not correct, as the tenses of these words are different. The present tense is used for the word "get". It means to acquire/obtain something at the moment. It can be used as a way to ask for help. Students can understand the difference between 'get' or 'got', even though they are in different tenses, and can then use them correctly.

Example of Get and Got

This example will help students to understand the difference between 'get' or 'got'.

Get - As it began to rain, the man asked the children to enter the house. (verb)

Got - I got my veggies from the lady down the street. (verb)

Students will be able to use the correct context when they understand the difference between the words "get" and "got".

Thus we found the details on Difference Between Got and Have. We are know going to conclude the topic with some important bullet points that are crucial to remember.

Main Differences Between Got and Have in Points

Here are the key and primary Difference Between Got and Have

  1. The difference between these terms lies in the meanings of each term. The past tense meaning of the word "have" connotes possession of a specific object or thing. The past tense of the word "got" in a sentence refers to the act of receiving something. This subtle difference in meaning is important.
  2. The second difference is in their usage. Both terms can be used in different ways in the past tense. In the past tense, 'got' or have got' can't be substituted for 'have'.
  3. When used in a positive form, the word 'have' cannot be contracted. However, you can use the contracted positive form of the word "have got", which is more common than "got" in sentences.
  4. The informal meaning of the word "have got" is that it's not formal. It is more appropriate to use 'have' instead.
  5. Similar to the previous example, "have" cannot be used in place of "got" to refer to future or recurring activities.
  6. In American and Canadian English, the word "have" is often used in place of 'got' or even 'have got'. British speakers might prefer to use the terms 'got' and 'have got'. American English uses the term 'Have' to emphasize a sentence.


To speak the English language correctly, you must be familiar with its syntax and grammatical rules. It will be difficult to speak and write the language correctly if you don't have a good grasp of the regulatory framework. It is common for people to be confused about the use of two words in sentences: 'have' or 'got'.

They are often used interchangeably by individuals. This may not be allowed under English grammatical rules. It is particularly wrong to interchange the words in the past tense. Sentences that use the past tense for the word "have" cannot be changed with the word "got".

There is also a slight variation in their meanings. While "have" refers to possession, "got" or "have got" refers to receiving an object or article. These words are also influenced by the geographic location of the individual. British speakers prefer the terms 'got' and 'have got" to 'have. For American and Canadian speakers, 'Have is the preferred term.

The use of the term "got" can create a sense of informality, which is not the case for the use of the term "have". These subtle differences should be recognized in order to understand the language and to use the grammatical framework correctly to build sentences.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/411547
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=iT8zAAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA165&dq=%27got%27+english+use&ots=gX4uJHzRG1&sig=_s1AmKMrwHHk54h6OpI3EhSsV7Y


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"Difference Between Got and Have." Diffzy.com, 2023. Sun. 04 Jun. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-got-and-have-303>.

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