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  1. #1
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default "Have got" as a verb

    I taught my first class with a child on Friday. He is a very enthusiastic, reasonably well-behaved 8-year-old and I think the class went OK, considering I've never taught a kid before.

    He has been doing the present simple at school and had 3 different verbs written out as positive, negative and interrogative. The first 2 verbs were much as I expected: to be (which he has trouble with); and to wear (which appeared to have been picked at random but he uses well).

    The third was a surprise. He has been taught "to have got" instead of "to have". He had the whole lot written out in full and, as with all verbs learnt here, had memorised them. As it was the first class, I wanted to help to reinforce what he was doing at school, so I felt somewhat obligated to go with it. We played a game using plastic fruit and vegetables where I alternately asked and answered "Have you got an apple?", "I have got 3 apples" etc. The problem I found was that I automatically, over and over again, found myself saying "Do you have 3 apples?" or "I have 5 potatoes" etc. I find the use of "have got" very odd.

    Has anyone else come across the use of "have got" being used in place of "have" with elementary classes? The only reason I can think of that they use it is because in the interrogative, they don't have to use the auxiliary "do/does". They can use the same words as in the positive, just in a different order.

    I am tempted to talk to his parents about it and explain that I believe that "to have" would be much more useful, not to mention simpler for him to learn.

    Any opinions gratefully received. Thanks.

  2. #2
    abbyash is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: "Have got" as a verb

    As an American, "have got" is rarer to me. But here in Switzerland, where I teach in the public school using British English, it is one of the first verbs taught. I stumble over it all the time. Is it true that you Brits aren't using it anymore either?!

  3. #3
    suikerbossie is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: "Have got" as a verb

    In Italy, too, my children are taught 'have got'. Why I don't know. Their teacher couldn't explain except that the text books are like that and so this is what is taught. Eg. I've got a brother and two sisters; he's got an apple. And so on.

    And verbs are not 'to be' 'to have' to run' but 'be' 'have' 'run'...

  4. #4
    MASM's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Have got" as a verb

    I've also been taught "have got" like that, maybe it's a Spanish thing.
    I know "got" is not needed, yet I've heard "I've got one apple (or whatever)" from different people, natives included, so many times that "I have one apple" sounds strange to me.

    If you need it for the question form "Have you got an apple?", maybe is less complicated to use it in a statement. Does the kid find it easier that way?

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Have got" as a verb

    Thanks everyone! Oh, it's true, we use "I've got" etc etc all the time in spoken English but I guess I'm used to being taught more "correct/formal" versions of languages, the style I would expect to find in writing and in exams. I just would have expected simply "have", but it seems "have got" is more common in teaching than I thought. I'll have to get used to it!

    As the last poster suggested, and I suspected, it makes the interrogative much easier.

    You have apples.
    Do you have apples? (requires auxiliary)

    You have got apples.
    Have you got apples? (all words the same, just different order)

  6. #6
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    Question Re: "Have got" as a verb

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Thanks everyone! Oh, it's true, we use "I've got" etc etc all the time in spoken English but I guess I'm used to being taught more "correct/formal" versions of languages, the style I would expect to find in writing and in exams. I just would have expected simply "have", but it seems "have got" is more common in teaching than I thought. I'll have to get used to it!

    As the last poster suggested, and I suspected, it makes the interrogative much easier.

    You have apples.
    Do you have apples? (requires auxiliary)

    You have got apples.
    Have you got apples? (all words the same, just different order)

    It's quite interesting to me as I've always had (and actually seen and heard) this idea that one of the features present in BrE is the use of "have" as an auxiliary verb. Almost in all book series with an emphasis on BrE the form "have you got..." is preferred to "do you have...". As a shock, it must've been in "Shakespeare in Love" when Sb asks Shakespeare "Have you my play?" which, I thought, must've been the formal form of "Have you got my play?" And quite amazingly, since I'm interested in BrE, I've always tried to avoid "Do you have..." to sound more British! Does this sound odd to British speakers?!

  7. #7
    mara_ce's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Have got" as a verb

    Personally, I think it would be easier to learn only one form of "have". Kids usually confuse the use of "have/has" when they are taught the present simple because they are accustomed to using "have/has got" for possessions and relationships.

  8. #8
    MASM's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Have got" as a verb

    Yes, you're quite right. However, once you have a habit of saying "have got to" is rather difficult to use only "have" (I know from experience).
    That's why I was suggesting that if the kid was already using "got" automatically it was better to leave it like that.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "Have got" as a verb

    Quote Originally Posted by abbyash View Post
    As an American, "have got" is rarer to me. But here in Switzerland, where I teach in the public school using British English, it is one of the first verbs taught. I stumble over it all the time. Is it true that you Brits aren't using it anymore either?!
    No. We use it all the time. But as I've said elsewhere, there was a tendency when the present cohort of schoolteachers were children at school, for prescriptive grammarians to say "You mustn't use 'get'; it's lazy; choose the right verb". Some of today's teachers have inherited this tendency; they prefer 'arose' or 'awoke' to 'got up', 'dressed' to 'got dressed', 'caught the bus' to 'got on the bus, 'reached my seat' to 'got to my seat', 'took out my book' to 'got my book out'... and so on.

    To my ear, 'I have an idea' is much less natural than 'I've got an idea' - when the sentence stops there: 'I've got an idea. See what you think'. But when the sentence doesn't go on, 'I have an idea' is more common - 'I have an idea we're not alone.' And 'have got' to refer to simple possession of a concrete noun is very common in the UK.

    b

  10. #10
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    Default Re: "Have got" as a verb

    Interesting.
    So this verb "have got", what tenses is it available in?

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