What are the origins of that damn british have got? One student argued today that it was the present perfect - some teacher apparently told her so. Help!
When we say, Banderas has got three suits, we mean he has them in his possession= he has them.
When we say, Banderas has gotten three suits, we mean he's acquired or obtained them
But not in British English
Note that have got is NOT the present perfect of get, at least officialy.
'Have' and 'Have got' are used for possession but only 'have' is used when talking about actions:
I have breakfast, not I have got breakfast.
'Have' and 'Have got' are only used in the present simple, note that we use 'have' for the past simple or future forms.
I will have... not I will have got.....
What am I getting at?
Have got is an "expressionĒ. But it originated in the present perfect of the verb to get.
It takes the form of the present perfect but, in most cases anyway, has present tense meaning.
How this happened???
What is the literal meaning of the present perfect of get? I have got a new car =I have acquired a new car. So I can assume that I still posses the car.
Over time, this implication has become the primary meaning of have got. What I find interesting in particular is the same thing happened with "going to". Iím going (to write a letter), a long time ago meant I moving in the direction of (to write a letter). Over time it has become fixed as a marker of future meaning. It can be even reduced (in spoken English) to: Iím gonna write a letter. This is called a drift, from self-standing, non-idiomatic lexical items to dependent, idiomatic grammatical ones.
To sum up, in British English:
I have got a car=I have a car, nothing to do with the present perfect form of "get" but
I have got a car=I was given a car, a lot to do with the present perfect form of "get". The context governs all this.
American English does not seem to have this kind of situation thanks to:
"I have gotten a car".