"Have got" as a verb

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emsr2d2

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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.
 

abbyash

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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?!
 

suikerbossie

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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'...
 

MASM

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I've also been taught "have got" like that, maybe it's a Spanish thing:-D.
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?
 

emsr2d2

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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)
 

Mehrgan

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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?! :roll:
 

mara_ce

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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.
 

MASM

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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:-D).
That's why I was suggesting that if the kid was already using "got" automatically it was better to leave it like that.
 

BobK

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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
 

Raymott

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

mara_ce

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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:-D).
That's why I was suggesting that if the kid was already using "got" automatically it was better to leave it like that.
Yes, I agree with you. If the boy has been taught the use of "have got", we don´t have to change it. Since “have” can be used in all situations and “have got” has a more limited use, I think that kids at least should be taught the use of the first one to avoid confusion. For example, they might say: I´ve got breakfast at 8 o´clock.

In fact, we can´t do anything, the books for kids have the structure “have got” after the verb “be” in most cases, so we have to explain the proper use. I use both of them. When I´m with children I have to think before asking, if not, they look a bit confused when I say “Do you have any brothers or sisters?” :)
 

mara_ce

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Interesting.
So this verb "have got", what tenses is it available in?
Both of them are in the simple present. I´ve explained in the previous post where the problem lies, in my opinion.
 

Raymott

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Both of them are in the simple present. I´ve explained in the previous post where the problem lies, in my opinion.
Both of them? The point is that it's taught as one verb - the verb "have got".
The future can't be "will have got", because that's the future perfect.
The simple past can't be "had got", etc.

What I'm asking is, for those teachers who teach the verb "have got", how many tenses is it taught in? What are students told when they ask what the past tense or future is?
 

mara_ce

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Both of them?
Yes, you´re right. I´m referring to kids, they don´t ask that type of questions. They´re not worried about the past or future of a verb.
The point is that it's taught as one verb - the verb "have got".
The future can't be "will have got", because that's the future perfect.
The simple past can't be "had got", etc.

What I'm asking is, for those teachers who teach the verb "have got", how many tenses is it taught in? What are students told when they ask what the past tense or future is?
m.
 

BobK

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Both of them? The point is that it's taught as one verb - the verb "have got".
The future can't be "will have got", because that's the future perfect.
The simple past can't be "had got", etc.

What I'm asking is, for those teachers who teach the verb "have got", how many tenses is it taught in? What are students told when they ask what the past tense or future is?

I don't really understand the question. The words in it make sense, and it seems unassailably logical, but I don't see why the future can't be 'will have' (which is phonetically distinct from the 'will have' in 'will have got', as in that case the stress is necessarily on 'got' - except in the case of contrastive stress, as in an argument*: 'I've got one.'/'No you haven't'/'I'm telling you I have got one.' - which makes 'have' unstressed, which makes the vowel a schwa; in the verb of possession that is 'I have', the vowel is /æ/).

As Mara says, children don't care about which verb they're declining. I could say that 'I have got'' is an implied abbreviation of 'I am in possession of, as a result of having got', but that wouldn't be helpful to man or beast. ;-)

b

*PS I know you what contrastive stress is Ray, but other people may be interested in following this exchange.
 
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Raymott

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I don't really understand the question.
Yes you do because you've attempted an answer.

The words in it make sense, and it seems unassailably logical, but I don't see why the future can't be 'will have' ...
The future can be "will have". But I was asking if it is "will have" or whatever. If it's true that, when students are old enough to conjugate verbs, they don't ask about "have got", then I suppose there's no problem.
If the other tenses are, as you imply, the same for the verb "to have", then that's an answer too. Are you saying this?
So, I'm still interested in the answer. For example, let's say there is a very odd student who asks about the past tense of the verb "have got". He remembers that it is a verb. What's the official response?
 

mara_ce

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So, I'm still interested in the answer. For example, let's say there is a very odd student who asks about the past tense of the verb "have got". He remembers that it is a verb. What's the official response?
At this level the student must be referring to possessions. In that case, I´d say: "had got".
I had got a red T-shirt ten years ago.
 

BobK

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And I'd say 'had'; for me 'had got' is the past perfect of 'got' - although in cases like 'had got on', meaning 'was wearing', it's obviously not.

b
 

mara_ce

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And I'd say 'had'; for me 'had got' is the past perfect of 'got' - although in cases like 'had got on', meaning 'was wearing', it's obviously not.
b
I´m afraid I wouldn´t say that. :oops:
I see now why I want to get rid of "have got". ;-)
Fortunately, the kids haven´t asked that question in my class. :up:
Personally, I say "I used to have something" to emphasize the idea that I don´t have it now.
 

MASM

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I was told once that "have got" was only used in the present tense, to emphasize possession, "got" didn't mean anything in this case like "do" didn't mean anything in "Do you speak English?" for example. As for the past, future.. "have" will be used without "got".

Maybe it's not a grammatically acceptable reasoning, but It helped me to understand when I had to use it. My English teachers where British, so I guess they're trying to say, that if "I've got (whatever)" was a common thing to say, it should be taught.
 
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