have or have got

When do we use have got and when have

In British English have got is used quite often, in other areas it is common to use the main verb have.

1. Affirmative sentences

have have got
I have a brother. I have got a brother.
I've got a brother.
You have a sister. You have got a sister.
You've got a sister.
He has a cat. He has got a cat.
He's got a cat.
She has a dog. She has got a dog.
She's got a dog.
It has Bluetooth. It has got Bluetooth.
It's got Bluetooth.
We have books. We have got books.
We've got books.
You have a nice room. You have got a nice room.
You've got a nice room.
They have pets. They have got pets.
They've got pets.

have got is often used in its contracted form even in written language.

2. Negations

have have got
I do not have a brother. I have not got a brother.
I haven't got a brother.
I don't have a brother. I've not got a brother.*
You do not have a sister. You have not got a sister.
You haven't got a sister.
You don't have a sister. You've not got a sister.*
He does not have a cat. He has not got a cat.
He hasn't got a cat.
He doesn't have a cat. He's not got a cat.*
She does not have a dog. She has not got a dog.
She hasn't got a dog.
She doesn't have a dog. She's not got a dog.*
It does not have Bluetooth. It has not got Bluetooth.
It hasn't got Bluetooth.
It doesn't have Bluetooth. It's not got Bluetooth.*
We do not have books. We have not got books.
We haven't got books.
We don't have books. We've not got books.*
You do not have a nice room. You have not got a nice room.
You haven't got a nice room.
You don't have a nice room. You've not got a nice room.*
They do not have pets. They have not got pets.
They haven't got pets.
They don't have pets. They've not got pets.*

* This form is rarely used.

3. Questions

have have got
Do I have time? Have I got time?
Do you have pets? Have you got pets?
Does he have a computer? Has he got a computer?
Does she have a mobile phone? Has she got a mobile phone?
Does it have mudguards? Has it got mudguards?
Do we have ketchup? Have we got ketchup?
Do you have a yellow car? Have you got a yellow car?
Do they have nice teachers? Have they got nice teachers?

There can be negations in questions too.

have have got
Don't you have a brother? Haven't you got a brother?

4. Be careful

4.1. The contracted forms 've or 's are only used with have got – not with have.

right wrong
I've got a new mobile phone.

I've a new mobile phone.

He's got a new car. He's a new car.

4.2. Do not use an auxiliary with have got – only with have. Be careful when using negations.

right wrong
Have you got a garden? Do you have got a garden?
Do you have a pet? Have you a pet?
They haven't got a brother. They haven't a house.

4.3. have cannot always be substituted with have got. You can only substitute have with have got when you talk about possession and relationships.

have got have
I've got a brother. I have a brother.
wrong: I had got an accident. I had an accident.
wrong: We had got lunch. We had lunch.

► In American English have is dropped in informal speech like in the following example.

We've got a problem. → We got a problem.