Many learners I know have got problems with “I have got”. For some it’s the form of the construction; for others the tense; but for most the problem is “what’s the difference between “have got” and “have”???????
I have a headache / I have got a headache
I don’t have a car / I haven’t got a car
Do you have to go? / Have you got to go?
What’s the difference???
In some grammar books the authors bend over backwards (<- idiom = try very hard) to find a difference; I think some even invent differences!!
Here is my solution:
I have and I have got mean the SAME!
Now, that is not so difficult, is it?
What I have noticed is that people use I have got more in Britain and not so much in USA.
The form of I have etc is the same as any normal verb – see: Present Simple / Past Simple etc.
So we say:
I have … / he has …
I don’t have … / he doesn’t have …
Do you have …? / Does he have …?
The form of I have got etc is the same as the Present Perfect.
So we say:
I have got … / he has got …
I haven’t got … / he hasn’t got …
Have you got …? / has he got …?
This means it is maybe a little more complicated than I have. Also we normally don’t use I have got in the past tense:
I have got a meeting at 10 today (present of have got)
I had a meeting at 10 yesterday (past of have)
In my courses I tell people that it is enough to know that have got exists and that people use it but – and this is the GOOD NEWS – you don’t need to use it and therefore you don’t really need to learn it!!
Just use have and that’s enough!
English is Easy! does it again!!