Have or Have got? Easy English Grammar (50+ examples!)

HAVE and HAVE GOT mean the same thing when you are talking about owning something, holding something or relationships.

  • He has $20 in his wallet.
  • He has got $20 in his wallet.

*Remember the verb HAVE changes to HAS for the third person singular.
He has / She has / It has

We use the auxiliary verb DO to make a question and a negative sentence with HAVE.

  • DO you HAVE a few minutes?
  • I DON’T HAVE any time today.

HAVE GOT doesn’t use the auxiliary verb DO for questions or negative sentences.

  • HAVE you GOT a few minutes?
  • I HAVEN’T GOT any time today.
Have or Have got - He has $20 in his wallet.
He has got $20 in his wallet.

Have or Have not ESL

Please look at the following examples. These are the examples that I use when I teach my private English students here in Tokyo. Real examples make it easy to understand how we use this grammar, and they make it easy for you to use in your own English conversations.

I have a mountain bike and I ride it every weekend.

I have got a mountain bike and I ride it every weekend.

Henry’s apartment has a big balcony. He lives on the 18th floor so he has a great view of the city.

Henry’s apartment has got a big balcony. He lives on the 18th floor so he has got a great view of the city.

My Mom comes from a big family. She has 3 sisters and 3 brothers.

My Mom comes from a big family. She has got 3 sisters and 3 brothers.

The examples above all have the same meaning.

According to Cambridge Dictionary:

Have got and have mean the same. Have got is more informal.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/have-got-and-have

We can also use this grammar when we talk about having an illness.

A: Is Janice coming out with us tonight?
B: No, she wants to home. She has a headache. (She has got a headache.)

Hospitals are having a difficult time right now. They need to keep the people who have Coronavirus separate from the other patients. (…the people who have got Coronavirus…)

Keep reading this easy grammar guide to learn some more HAVE or HAVE NOT rules!

haveWe have a Nintendo switch.
have gotWe have got a Nintendo switch.
haveHe has $20 in his wallet.
have gotHe has got $20 in his wallet.
haveShe has one older brother.
have gotShe has got one older brother.
Have or Have got - My Mom comes from a big family. She has got 3 sisters and 3 brothers.

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Have or Have not Grammar – contractions

HAVE/HAS GOT is usually spoken in its contracted form. ‘VE GOT / ‘S GOT

I have got – You have got – We have got – They have are usually spoken as

I’ve got – You’ve got – We’ve got – They’ve got.

I’ve got 3 jobs. I like to be busy.

My wife and I just moved. We’ve got so many empty boxes in our house now.

A: I just heard that our neighbor Erin is pregnant.
B: Wow! They’ve got 2 young children already, Erin is going to be so busy for the next few years!

He has got – She has got – It has got are usually spoken as

He’s got – She’s got – It’s got

Dave just got a new job. He’s got 3 jobs now!

Angela collects rare coins. She’s got coins from over 30 countries.

I like Tokyo Disney Sea better than Tokyo Disneyland. It’s got my favorite ride, The Tower of Terror!

Listen to the contractions spoken by a native speaker below.

Have or Have got verb tenses

For the possessive meanings of HAVE and HAVE NOT (owning, holding, relationships, illness) we don’t use the present continuous tense.

We have a Nintendo Switch. OK
We are having a Nintendo Switch. NG

Wendy has a big pool in her backyard. OK
Wendy is having a big pool in her backyard. NG

My uncle has arthritis. OK
My uncle is having arthritis. NG

My uncle has arthritis.

For the past tense we use HAD without GOT. 

I had a Nintendo Switch but it broke.
I had got a Nintendo Switch but it broke.

My house in Canada had a big backyard. Most houses in Tokyo don’t have yards.
My house in Canada had got a big backyard.

Ryan had the flu last month but he is better now.
Ryan had got the flu last month but he is better now.

(The got in have got is the past tense of the verb get. We don’t use this grammar. HAD GOT)

Have got – questions and negatives

If we want to know if someone HAS something we have two choices.

  1. We can start our question with HAVE followed by the subject + GOT.

HAVE you GOT a few minutes? I need your help.

HAS Jason GOT a mountain bike? We should ask him to ride with us this weekend.

  1. We can use the auxiliary verb DO with HAVE to make a question. (without GOT)

DO you HAVE a few minutes? I need your help.

DOES Jason HAVE a mountain bike? We should ask him to ride with us this weekend.

If we want to make a negative sentence there are two possibilities.

  1. We can use the negative form of HAVE/HAS – HAVEN’T/HASN’T.

I HAVEN’T GOT any time today.

Jason HASN’T GOT a mountain bike.

  1. We can use the negative of the auxiliary verb DO with HAVE. DO NOT HAVE/DOES NOT HAVE. (Once again the contractions of these expressions are more common in spoken English. DON’T HAVE/DOESN’T HAVE) 

I DON’T HAVE any time today.

Jason DOESN’T HAVE a mountain bike.

Have got - questions and negatives

HAVE more examples

There are many actions and situations that are only used with HAVE. HAVE GOT is not used for the following activities:

Meals and food – HAVE means EAT/DRINK when we talk about meals and food or drinks.

What did you HAVE for breakfast today? = What did you EAT?

I only HAD a cup of coffee. = I only DRANK a cup of coffee.

Devon HAS a tuna sandwich for lunch every day. = Devon EATS a tuna sandwich for lunch every day.

What are you HAVING for dinner tonight?
*This continuous form of the verb HAVE is used as the Future tense in this question. Learn more about the future tense at my blog post here: Verbs Future Tense

This use of HAVE/HAS is for food that will eat, eat, or ate.
HAVE/HAS GOT is okay for food that we possess

I HAVE a donut every morning. (I eat a donut.)

I’VE GOT a donut in my lunch bag. (I possess a donut.)

Bath or Shower – It’s getting late. I think I’ll HAVE a shower and go to bed.

Shelley likes to HAVE a warm bath and relax after work.

*TAKE is also possible for these actions. – TAKE a shower/TAKE a bath

A talk, conversation, discussion, chat – Let’s HAVE a chat about this tonight.

I HAD an interesting conversation with Jerry today at lunch.

The boss wants to HAVE a long discussion with our team after work. I think he is not happy.

More examples

HAVE an accident
HAVE a dream
HAVE a party
HAVE trouble/difficulty
HAVE fun
HAVE a good/bad time
HAVE a good/bad experience
HAVE a baby

HAVE uses and definitions are from The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary – have verb

Have or Have got

Continuous FORM

All the examples in this section can be used in the continuous form (AM HAVING – IS HAVING – ARE HAVING)

Paul IS HAVING breakfast now.

We’RE HAVING a discussion about the movie and how it compares to the novel.

Come over! I’M HAVING a party! Everyone IS HAVING fun!

Alec IS HAVING some trouble at school this semester.

Questions and negatives will use the auxiliary verb DO. DO/DOES/DID.

A: DON’T you HAVE a shower when you wake up?
B: I usually take a shower before I go to bed, I DON’T HAVE a shower in the morning.

A: DID you HAVE any trouble finding the store?
B: I DIDN’T HAVE any trouble, your directions were great!

What time DOES the boss want to HAVE the meeting?

*HAVE a meeting means the same as hold a meeting in this sentence. It is not possessive.
If you have a meeting on your schedule or planned for later, HAVE GOT is also possible.

I HAVE a meeting at 5:00 today. I’ll get home late tonight.

I’VE GOT a meeting at 5:00 today. I’ll get home late tonight.

Have or Have got – Conclusion

Come back and review the examples in this post any time you have questions about using HAVE or HAVE GOT. The examples will help you use this English grammar naturally. Are there any examples from this post that apply to you? How will you use this new grammar?

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