Do you have vs. Have you got

Ishtaril

Member
French (France) - Urdu
Hello everybody! ;)

It is been one month since I moved from France to the UK. I've heard people using "do you have", like for example in "Do you have the reference number of this product?", but also "Have you got the reference number?".

At school I was told that the later form should preferably be used. Since I hear both forms everyday, I am wondering if there is a particular rule to choose between them or if this really depends on the context of the sentence. I hope my question is not too general.

Thanks for your explanations :)
 
  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The form "do you have" is both more formal and more technically correct, and therefore if you insisted on preferring one over the other, then "do you have" should be preferred to "have you got". I am surprised to learn that you were taught the opposite; was your teacher a native speaker?

    It is also worth noting that to use "have got" in place of the simple "have" is much more common in informal British English speech than it is in other forms of English (such as formal British English, or common American English.)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    There are many previous threads on this topic.
    See have got

    There are parts of the UK where the "have you got" form is used a great deal.
    In other parts, it is a lot less common.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello everybody! ;)

    It is been one month since I moved from France to the UK. I've heard people using "do you have", like for example in "Do you have the reference number of this product?", but also "Have you got the reference number?".

    At school I was told that the later form should preferably be used. Since I hear both forms everyday, I am wondering if there is a particular rule to choose between them or if this really depends on the context of the sentence. I hope my question is not too general.

    Thanks for your explanations :)
    Hi Ishtaril and welcome to the forum,

    As people have explained, 'Do you have...?' is a little more formal and therefore less used between friends and among young people than between people who wish to be very polite, like good shop assistants. Thus, 'Have you got a preference as to colour?' would be regarded as poor form by strict assistants in a dress shop, who would prefer 'Do you have a preference as to colour, Madam?' But many young people and spontaneous informal people prefer the 'have you got' form.

    I was interested in Panj.'s comment that usage varies a lot over different parts of the UK. I can only speak of relatively recent usage in England, where I haven't spotted a variation.

    I hope the answers you are getting conform to your experience in your new surroundings.
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    SInce you are in the UK, you should follow the British posters' advice. However in the US, "do you have" is not formal at all and "have you got" would barely be understood. So when you go to New York and want something and go into a store, ask them "Do you have any black shoes", not "Have you got any black shoes." In London, apparently, the opposite might be true though.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ...
    I was interested in Panj.'s comment that usage varies a lot over different parts of the UK. I can only speak of relatively recent usage in England, where I haven't spotted a variation.
    ...
    Ther are several aspects of usage that vary within the UK.
    Generally, the variation relates to distance from the south-east, and often the shift is in the direction of US usage.
    I don't believe this is anything at all to do with US influence on elements of the UK, but more that the formative influences on US English were regional rather than London.
    I have no evidence for this suggestion other than some surprising (to me) discoveries in this forum over the past four years (almost).

    I first came across the "do you have"/"have you got" difference way back in 2005. As you can see in Have you (got) ...? Do you have ...?, a bit of personal research showed that it seems that my correspondents and I, a BE sample, would not use "have you got" much, but prefer "have you" or "do you have".

    In these two threads I think you'll find other BE speakers suggesting variations within the UK. The second one includes some historical background.
    Have you <got>? ... do you have?

    Have you (got) any relatives? = Old usage? Do you have any relatives?
     

    Ishtaril

    Member
    French (France) - Urdu
    The form "do you have" is both more formal and more technically correct (...) I am surprised to learn that you were taught the opposite; was your teacher a native speaker?
    No she is French, but that dates back to 1995 when I started to learn English at school :). I remember that we had a whole lesson dealing with the "have you got" form and usage in our textbook. This is also why the "have you" form is quite weird to my ears because I feel that something is missing. :p
     
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    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    No she is French, but that dates back to 1995 when I started to learn English at school :). I remember that we had a whole lesson dealing with the "have you got" form and usage in our textbook. This is also why the "have you" form is quite weird to my ears because I feel that something is missing. :p
    I suspect she travelled in Britain, and was basing her opinion on familiar conversation there.

    The simple present is rarely used in questions in modern English. To use it (instead of the emphatic present, with "do") seems archaic. While the old nursery rhyme may ask the Black Sheep "Have you any wool?", I would ask the yarn salesman "Do you have any wool?" On the other hand, it is perfectly natural to use "have" in declarative sentences, as in "I have a labrador retriever", which seems much more natural to me than "I have got a labrador retriever."
     

    Ishtaril

    Member
    French (France) - Urdu
    Originally Posted by Thomas Tompion
    I hope the answers you are getting conform to your experience in your new surroundings.
    I've mostly heard the 'do you have' form so far (especially at work), and the 'have you got' form among young people only, though quite rarely. I haven't come across the 'have you' form at all. So this confirms the answers I got here.

    Thanks all for your useful comments on this! :)
     

    Wayland

    Banned
    English.
    Interesting.
    Among dialect speakers in Yorkshire the elderly would say arriving late in the day at a baker's shop "Ast any bread left" (Hath thou) yet younger speakers would say "Asta got any bread left".
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    SInce you are in the UK, you should follow the British posters' advice. However in the US, "do you have" is not formal at all and "have you got" would barely be understood. So when you go to New York and want something and go into a store, ask them "Do you have any black shoes", not "Have you got any black shoes." In London, apparently, the opposite might be true though.
    I could not disagree more with your statement that "in the US ... 'have you got' would barely be understood." Here are a couple of bits of evidence against your assertion.

    First, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is much more likely to omit largely-British usages than do other dictionaries of American English with which I am familiar. Yet, on the subject of have got, it merely states, under the entry get, "[16 a.]To have current possession of. Used in the present perfect form with the meaning of the present: We've got plenty of cash." No indication at all that there is anything unusual about the term in American usage.

    The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage, which is primarily about American usage (although it does discuss usages from other branches of the language) recommends have got for use in writing which imitates the rhythms of speech. From its entry "have got": "Have will do perfectly well in writing that avoids the natural rhythms of speech. But in speech, or prose that resembles speech, you will probably want have got."
     

    Damnjoe

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    SInce you are in the UK, you should follow the British posters' advice. However in the US, "do you have" is not formal at all and "have you got" would barely be understood. So when you go to New York and want something and go into a store, ask them "Do you have any black shoes", not "Have you got any black shoes." In London, apparently, the opposite might be true though.
    Yes, to agree with mplsray, "have you got" is very common in the US. It seems to be pretty much the opposite of the UK. In the US "have you got" is more informal, (sometimes we omit the "have" in informal speech) and "do you have" is more the formal standard. Both are used equally in different situations.

    From what I understand, it is more or less the opposite in the UK, where "have you got" would be the standard. But I have never lived there.

    At least, in my books that´s how they usually teach it. I don´t know about omitting the "got" in American English. I can´t think of any situation where we would say "have you any bread" without sounding pretentious. It might be more common in Britain.
     

    Phil-Olly

    Senior Member
    Scotland, English
    Strictly speaking, these are not 2 forms at all, but 2 separate verbs: "to have" and "to get".

    There's nothing wrong with the verb "to get", as can be seen in this example:

    "Go and get me a spanner from the garage." And later ...."Have you got it?"

    It's easy to why the meaning of "Have you got it?" and "Do you have it?" have become identical, and now, in BE at least, they are used interchangeably, even when there is no "getting" involved, e.g

    "I've got blue eyes, but my brother's got brown eyes".

    The question "Have you got it?" is frequently answered with "Yes, I do" (rather than "Yes, I have") and the theory of how this weird syntax has evolved is complex and fascinating - see previous posts!
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I found a very helpful comment on "have you got it" in a thread titled “have” vs.“have got” in American and British English at English Stackexchange .com website

    http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/120721/have-vs-have-got-in-american-and-british-english

    'There used to be a distinction. "Do you have a car?" meant "Do you possess a car", whether the car is here now or at a garage or parked in your driveway at home. "Have you got a car?" had a more immediate meaning of "Have you got it with you now?"
    However, I think that distinction disappeared a long time ago.'

    I think we still use this distinction now, in the following context, "have you got it" rather than "do you have it" is used.

    "Go and get me a spanner from the garage." And later ...."Have you got it?"
     
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    beezneez

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    However in the US, "do you have" is not formal at all and "have you got" would barely be understood.
    Nothing could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, the milk advertisement, [Have you] "Got milk?" was so wildly successful, it spawned dozens, if not hundreds of spin-offs. I'm sure it drives strict grammarians crazy to hear it, but nonetheless, "have you got..." is used frequently by millions of Americans every day. As implied in the ad, it is often shortened, however, to just "got...?"
     
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    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    However in the US, "do you have" is not formal at all and "have you got" would barely be understood.
    ...

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    ...
    How come observations from native speakers are getting so far apart as to a basic usage in the language, which would make people learning the language as a second language quite confused? Is it a regional variation?
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I would still say that in the US "do you have" is not formal at all and commonly used. I think that "have you got" is fine in some situations (e.g. I am at someone's house and ask 'have you got any milk') but it is not the way you would usually ask for some specific item in a store. I wouldn't ask 'Have you got black shoes' but I might ask 'have you got any black shoes'. I would kind of expect a store clerk to be slightly puzzled by the first version but not by the second. So I stand corrected.
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    ...
    I wouldn't ask 'Have you got black shoes' but I might ask 'have you got any black shoes'. I would kind of expect a store clerk to be slightly puzzled by the first version but not by the second. So I stand corrected.
    Not disagree. The word "any" changed the tone of the sentence, doesn't it? ("any" gives hint to the missing part "if you have any so I can buy", which makes the sentence feel more natural in the context.)
     

    russian80

    Senior Member
    Russian
    From Topsy and Tim, Season 1, episode 1, 00:03:51
    - Topsy's got our chest of drawers and our old curtains.
    - I see.
    - And I don't have that.

    Why didn't he say, "And I haven't got that."?
     

    Phil-Olly

    Senior Member
    Scotland, English
    Why didn't he say, "And I haven't got that."?
    Good question - and it continues to puzzle me. It's all very well to say that 'I've got' is the same as 'I have', but for me it's unsettling when both are used together.
    You'll hear this a lot:

    - Have you got my passport?
    - No I don't.


    For me the response should have been, "No, I haven't"
     

    Phil-Olly

    Senior Member
    Scotland, English
    Unfortunately educated native speakers do say that!

    I wouldn't object to your version, Kentix.

    Consider this:

    - Has he died?
    - No, he isn't.


    As opposed to:

    - Has he died?
    - No, he isn't dead.

    The short response has to answer the question asked.
    Otherwise you have to rephrase the answer to demonstrate the verb being used ('have' as opposed to 'get')
     
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