have you a minute

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aazaadeh

New Member
Persian - English
is it grammatically correct to say "have you a minute?" to someone, when I am about to ask a question, and I don't know how busy he or she is?
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It is fine, although not the most common way to ask. It is much more likely that you would hear this outside the US - where "Do you have a minute?" would be more common. An alternative, also used by some in the UK and rare the US, would be "Have you got a minute?"
     
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    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    It is fine, although not the most common way to ask. It is much more likely that you would hear this outside the US - where "Do you have a minute?" would be more common. An alternative, also possibly preferred in the UK, would be "Have you got a minute?"
    Right. :thumbsup: Even more colloquial in American English would be:

    (1) (You) got a minute?

    with you being optional. (I think, though I'm not sure, that (1) is short for the inversion-less You've got a minute?, with -ve deleted.) Note that, even though the following is grammatical and natural in AmE

    (2) I've got a minute.

    the following two question versions are not:

    (3) Do you've got a minute? :cross:
    (4) Have you got a minute? :confused: (odd in most AmE dialects)

    The former, (3), is ungrammatical because have got can never be an infinitival verbal constituent:

    (5) I wish to have got a fancy house one day. :cross:

    I'm not entirely sure why (4) is ungrammatical (by which I mean unnatural) in most varieties of AmE, considering that have as an auxiliary can indeed be fronted in questions:

    (6) Have you gone home?

    Perhaps it's because in (2) and (4), have is not an auxiliary, but rather the normal lexical verb have meaning 'to possess', except with got attached; and BrE can front lexical have, whereas AmE cannot:

    (7) Have you any milk? <-- OK in BrE (I think), not in AmE
    (8) Do you have any milk? <-- preferred AmE version
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Looks like we have it covered (or "have got it covered"?)
    "Have you got a minute?" is common in BrE (and there are threads on it, I'm sure)
    "Do you got a minute?" is something you might occasionally hear in AmE but never, ever, in BrE!!!
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    "Do you got a minute?" is something you might occasionally hear in AmE but never, ever, in BrE!!!
    I had originally mentioned this form in my post but decided to remove it because it's a little baffling, considering my claims that (1) You got a minute? derives from You've got, with -ve deleted, and (2) have got cannot appear as an infinitival verbal constituent.

    Based on those claims, Do you got...? is a bit of an anomaly, but I guess the deletion of have/-ve allows for got to be analyzed as a normal verb that can be questioned with do.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    My usual mild protest post about "got".
    I know that "Have you got a minute?" is common in BE, but it is not ubiquitous.
    Many of us, especially those more remote from London, would prefer "Do you have a minute?"
     

    effeundici

    Senior Member
    Italian - Tuscany
    Have you any milk????

    Ehi guys! This is not what I was taught and my father spent a lot of money to send me to the English school!!

    Are you sure about that?
     

    Kate_99

    New Member
    English - Australian
    Have you any milk sounds dated to me, like from the nursery rhyme, baa baa black sheep have you any wool. It is not wrong, but not very common in Australia any more.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    If you learn from advertising slogans, then Englishmen in Roll Royces always say, "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?"

    Whereas uncouth diners with milk moustaches say, "Got milk?"

    So I would assume that Englishmen in Rolls Royces would say, "Pardon me, would you have a moment to discuss this?"

    I would assume that the gal with the milk-moustache would say, "Gotta minute?"
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Welcome to the forum aazaadeh ! :)
    is it grammatically correct to say "have you a minute?" to someone, when I am about to ask a question, and I don't know how busy he or she is?
    Yes, it is grammmatically correct. 'Have' is one of those verbs that can be inverted to make a question.

    "Have you a moment to spare?"

    'Do' can also be used to make questions and negatives with 'have'
    "Do you have a moment to spare?"

    In my opinion this is more elegant than "Have you ...?" and also sounds less foreign. Learners should be able to use this form with ease. It is after all the way we make questions and form negative for all regular verbs in the present tense. It sounds as if your English is already very good. :)

    Many British people often use "Have you got ..", a British English idiom I suppose. If you often talk with BrE speakers you need to be able to recognise it.

    For me, "Have you got ..?" is informal and colloquial, and "Do you have ...?" is more formal.They both lend themselves well to the rhythm of sentences in the sort of English I speak.

    So it depends who I am talking to and how polite I need to be. I expect that my instinctive choice depends on what follows too: on the precise context and the other words I want to use.

    I don't know when I might say "Have you...?" but I'd guess much less often than "Have you got...?", if ever.

    I do, sometimes but rarely, say something that sounds rather like "(You) gotta ...?" but only with fully consenting adults. (Joke)

    Cheers
    Hermione
     
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    Phil-Olly

    Senior Member
    Scotland, English
    Looks like we have it covered (or "have got it covered"?)
    "Have you got a minute?" is common in BrE (and there are threads on it, I'm sure)
    "Do you got a minute?" is something you might occasionally hear in AmE but never, ever, in BrE!!!
    Stick around - it might not be that far off. What you do hear with increasing frequency is:

    "Have you got a minute?"
    "No I don't"

    I want to scream, "You don't ....what?" What exactly is going on in the minds of these people? What's even worse is that I've caught myself doing it! What an admission!
     
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