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      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
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      • Portugal
      • Current Location:
      • Portugal

    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 52
    #1

    Lightbulb have vs have got

    Hi there!

    Could any teacher please tell me how to explain a ten-year-old girl, in her first year of English, the difference (if any) between have and have got? I mean, can they be used in the same way? For instance, can they both be used in the following sentences? Or is there a difference?
    1- I have blue eyes / I've got blue eyes.
    2- My house has three windows. / My house has got three windows
    3- I have a friend / I have got a friend
    4- I have a headache / I have got a headache

    I thought this was a simple and straight question, but as I thought about it, it didn't seem that simple, at least to explain (considering I'm Portuguese...)

    Can you help, please?!
    Thanks a lot

    Seagull


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #2

    Re: have vs have got

    Quote Originally Posted by Seagull View Post
    Hi there!

    Could any teacher please tell me how to explain to a ten-year-old girl, in her first year of English, the difference (if any) between have and have got? I mean, can they be used in the same way? For instance, can they both be used in the following sentences? Or is there a difference?
    1- I have blue eyes / I've got blue eyes.
    2- My house has three windows. / My house has got three windows
    3- I have a friend / I have got a friend
    4- I have a headache / I have got a headache

    I thought this was a simple and straight question, but as I thought about it, it didn't seem that simple, at least to explain (considering I'm Portuguese...)

    Can you help, please?!
    Thanks a lot

    Seagull
    A 10 year old child doesn't have to understand the differences, Seagull, especially in her first year, because the vast majority of native English speakers don't know the differences either.

    It is sufficient for her to understand that the meaning is the same. Using the 'have + got' form can add a bit more emphasis but the meaning is still the same.

    It's more important for her to practice contextually rich examples of language, both listening to and speaking, and the patterns will get set in her brain.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Portugal
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 52
    #3

    Thumbs up Re: have vs have got

    Thank you for your answer, Riverkid!

    I hope my little friend gets satisfied with it, too. You know, she keeps asking this kind of questions, and sometimes it's difficult to get the right answers. ("If have and have got mean the same, why do you use a little word which means nothing?!")

    Seagull


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #4

    Re: have vs have got

    Quote Originally Posted by Seagull View Post
    Thank you for your answer, Riverkid!

    I hope my little friend gets satisfied with it, too. You know, she keeps asking this kind of questions, and sometimes it's difficult to get the right answers. ("If have and have got mean the same, why do you use a little word which means nothing?!")

    Seagull
    Hi again, Seagull. You're most welcome.

    I mentioned that using the 'have got' collocation adds more emphasis, Seagull and this is something that you can exploit in helping her "learn" the difference.

    Young kid: I've got an ice cream cone and you don't!

    Young kid: I have an ice cream cone.

    There is a measure of importance in the first one as compared to the second. Using only 'have' is more neutral.

    [This pertains to NaE; BrE uses it differently]

    If you keep kids busy practicing real examples with as much real life context as possible, there is much less likelihood that they will have the time to dwell on these type of questions. Not that I'm suggesting that ESL teachers should discourage students' questions, indeed they should encourage them but many can be preempted by careful lesson planning.

  1. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
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    #5

    Re: have vs have got

    Good example. In fact, BE uses the present perfect the same way in this case, although there are other differences:

    I've got an ice cream [cornet*] and you haven't.

    b

    PS This word probably dates me a bit; a lot of BE speakers say 'cone' now.
    Last edited by BobK; 13-Mar-2007 at 18:46. Reason: PS added

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