Have you (got) ...? Do you have ...? What's the difference?

marinesea

Senior Member
Hello everybody,

Is there any difference between phrases like "do you have something?" and "have you got something" ("I have ..." and "I've got ...")?

Thanks in advance :)
 
  • daviesri

    Senior Member
    USA English
    marinesea said:
    Hello everybody,

    Is there any difference between phrases like "do you have something?" and "have you got something" ("I have ..." and "I've got ...")?

    Thanks in advance :)

    I use them both and as far as I know there is no real difference. I do think however that the "do you have" version is more formal than "have you got".
     

    Isotta

    Senior Member
    English
    I think "have you got" is more common in BE, and "do you have" is more common in AE. This was always a difference I heard living between the two countries, but someone correct me if I'm wrong--

    Isotta.
     

    Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    In my experience 'do you have' is more common in the US, whereas 'have you got' is more common in the UK (as well as being respectively more and less formal, as daviesri says).
     

    marinesea

    Senior Member
    Thank you very much for your replies, and I have another question:

    One of my Canadian friends said that "have you got" is bad english, and it's better to use "do you have". Does it really sound impolite to say "have you got", or it's just less formal?

    :)
     

    daviesri

    Senior Member
    USA English
    marinesea said:
    Thank you very much for your replies, and I have another question:

    One of my Canadian friends said that "have you got" is bad english, and it's better to use "do you have". Does it really sound impolite to say "have you got", or it's just less formal?

    :)

    I would say it is less formal.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Further information from the archive: many of the examples of "have you got" were "have you got over Christmas yet" or similar:)

    I haven't thought about good/bad - but 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".
     

    Benjy

    Senior Member
    English - English
    I think if I were writing I would always stick to have you/do you have. When speaking however I use got and have pretty much interchangeably, unless I am giving a presentation or something of that ilk.
     
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    mzsweeett

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, American English
    marinesea said:
    Thank you very much for your replies, and I have another question:

    One of my Canadian friends said that "have you got" is bad english, and it's better to use "do you have". Does it really sound impolite to say "have you got", or it's just less formal?

    :)
    Coming from Noo Joisey.....and Philadelphia..... I see both as fairly informal. I use either. I suppose it depends who you are talking to...... just my thoughts.....


    Sweet T.
     

    remosfan

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    For me, here in Toronto, "have you got" is strange in the sense that I would notice it if someone said it. I would say "do you have" reigns supreme here, with maybe an informal version as "d'ya have". Although as statements, "I have" and "I've got" are both very common, and here I'd say "I've got" is definitely the informal version.

    But my question is do some people use "have you" in the sense of "do you have"? That would sound very archaic to my ears.
     

    Isotta

    Senior Member
    English
    panjandrum said:
    For amusement, I searched my e-mail archive (11,000 records)
    "have you got" - 16
    "do you have" - 84
    "have you" - 254 (I wonder if this was coupled with other verbs, as in, "Have you found..."?)

    So:)

    As I see it:

    "Have you any reservations?" = relatively formal as presented here without another verb, somewhat rare, but I would not think it strange if someone said it.
    "Do you have a pen?" = AE and BE, though more common in AE and CE.
    "Have you got a lighter?" = common in BE, less common in AE and CE, sounds informal to AE/CE ears. I have never noticed it as particularly informal in BE.

    "Get" is a can of worms, but it is everywhere in the vernacular. If you look in an English dictionary, the number of possible meanings and functions is staggering, and there is almost always a way to avoid saying it. Forms of "get" are frowned upon in formal writing. Plus in AE "got" has come to mean "get" in very familiar speech (I would never say it), as in, "I got a lot to do right now," which is a vulgarism derived from "I have got." In addition, in some subcultures of AE, a third person singular has been created: "gots" (you would never want to say this, as people would deem you utterly uneducated).

    If I were learning English as a foreign language, I would try to learn all the meanings and functions of "got," but I would use alternate expressions that sound more specific and not so informal. Your Canadian friend may have been suggesting that you learn a "nicer" English.

    Isotta.
     

    leenico

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. english
    mzsweeett said:
    Coming from Noo Joisey.....and Philadelphia..... I see both as fairly informal. I use either. I suppose it depends who you are talking to...... just my thoughts.....


    Sweet T.
    Watcha got is another Noo Joisey expression. :D
     

    mzsweeett

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, American English
    leenico said:
    Watcha got is another Noo Joisey expression. :D
    True true.... and you know this how??? Not because you speak Noo Joisey too right? LOL. I asked this very question to my sis... and she said she dislikes have you got.... she maintains do you have has a nicer sound. So have we come full circle yet? LOL!!!!

    Sweet T.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In speech I think I use "have you got" more than "do you have", but then I am quite old; young people in the UK seem to prefer "do you have".

    In response to "Have you got....?" I say "Yes, I have"/"No, I haven't", but a younger person might well say "Yes, I do"/"No, I don't".
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    For me, here in Toronto, "have you got" is strange in the sense that I would notice it if someone said it. I would say "do you have" reigns supreme here, with maybe an informal version as "d'ya have".

    Could you not say 'Got a minute?' in Toronto? (My impression is that this is common in North American English, but needs confirming, and this is clearly derived from 'Have you got a minute?')
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I think we do say "Got a minute?" in AmE, but only in casual speech, and when we are not in a real conversation. I think that if we meet on the street, we might say it, or if we are sticking our head into a room to interrupt someone who is talking to someone else.

    Otherwise, I think we say "Have a minute?"

    I haven't counted the instances, though.
     

    sashiman

    New Member
    English
    This discussion regarding the evolution of "get" is already a century old (see Fowler and Visser for example).

    The facts are these: in North American English, it is very common in speech to hear expressions using "have got" or -- very often -- simply "got"...

    "You got a minute?"
    "You got the report?"
    Ad campaign: "Got milk?"

    Regardless of whether we believe these expressions are "right" or "noble", the vast majority use them in informal speech.

    The response in American English is "Yes, I do." or "No, I don't" which clearly shows that the verb is in the process of being reanalyzed (This is very likely rooted in the fact that the older past participle "gotten" has been conserved in North American English -- at least in the US -- making "have got" a grammatical oddity)

    Compare:

    "She's got a cold"
    "She's gotten a cold"

    Similarly, the grammaticalization of "get" has led to a very typical evolution (typical cross-linguistically, that is): Possession --> (Internal) obligation

    I've got a meeting across town in an hour. (possession)
    I've got to go. (internal) obligation / necessity.

    The fact that one hears "I don't gotta'" (again, questions of "correctness" or "noble style" should be set aside in descriptive linguistics) rather than "I haven't gotta'" shows that evolution of this marker is in process. ("I don't gotta'" has been around for at least thirty years...) Mind you, again, I'm not claiming it's correct, just that this phenomenon exists -- to the tune of 6.9 million attestations at Google -- so please spare me the diatribe :)

    I do hope this short comment helps to put the issues at stake in focus. In my view this is one of the most interesting living cases of language evolution.

    The "middle voice" get-passive (also known in linguistics as the medio-passive) is another manifestation of the growing grammatical role of this acquisitive little "get" in a society in which we more and more often just have to "get it done". (causative)

    p.s. I am unable to add the links to Visser's An Historical Syntax of the English Language or to the google search for "I don't gotta'"
     
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