I have <got> ... ... have you <got>? ... do you have?

acidella

New Member
Italian Italy
Hello! This is my first post here so I hope I'm not doing anything the wrong way. I have just returned from a language course in Dublin (Wow! everybody so friendly! I felt at home). I get confused with the use of "have you", "have you got" "do you have". In Italian there is only one form. I know I can't drop "got" when "have" means "must", but when it means "own"?
My teacher told me to use either "have you got?" or "do you have", "I haven't got" or "I don't have".
But I heard people say "I've no idea", "I haven't a clue".
Can I always omit "got"? For example can I say "he hasn't time", "have you the flu"?
My teacher says it is better to use always "got" whene there isn't "do".
I tried "search" but I found too many results. Sorry if you have explained this before.

ciao
 
  • maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Welcome acidella,
    I'm so glad you enjoyed your time here.

    The examples you gave of hearing people say "I've no idea" and "I haven't a clue" are both examples where the locals meant "I've got no idea" and "I haven't got a clue". They would most likely use the "got" if they wrote these, or if they were speaking more slowly, say in a relaxed setting over a drink or a meal.

    I think it is hard to generalise, but I would tend to use "got" and would recommend that you use it until you become comfortable enough with the language to leave things out. You won't mark yourself out as 'strange' if you leave it in where others might omit it, but you may well cause confusion and get strange looks if you leave it out where it is needed.

    I'm not sure I like your nickname — it sounds like a cruel villainess in a Disney movie :D
     

    languageGuy

    Senior Member
    USA and English
    The main issue here is whether or not you are asking a question. Questions require two verbs: the auxiliary and the main verb. The auxiliaries are have and do. The main verbs are (in your examples) have and got.

    So for questions:
    Do you have an idea?
    Do you have a clue?
    Have you got the time?
    Have you got a minute?

    Answers only require one verb:
    I have a clue.
    I have an idea.
    I got the time.
    I got a minute.
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    I can understand Acidella's confusion. Italian kids are taught the old (?) BE distinction (which the British textbooks my teachers used in the 60s insisted on) between "do you have/I don't have" (used to refer to "habitual" events/states, eg "do you often have colds?" "do you have (=regularly stock) this item?", "I don't have colds very often") and "have you got? "I haven't got" (used to refer to a present, not habitual, state, eg "Have you got a cold", "We haven't got this item right now. It's out of stock").
    I believe this distinction is not made in AE. What about BE? My middle-aged British teachers in the 60s insisted on it. Is it being lost?

    As for statements, I think good old maxiogee hit the nail on the head. It's safer to always use "got" with contracted "have" as the resulting sentence will always (please correct me if I'm wrong) sound idiomatic. Only a native, as Tony says, can know whether "got" can be omitted ("I've no idea", "I haven't the faintest", "I haven't a clue" etc) or not (" I haven't a beard").

    I'm a non-native teacher so I hope I haven't given Acidella any misleading advice. Could some of the native speakers weigh in on this? I'd appreciate some clarification on this usage issue myself.

    A 30-year-old Londoner who teaches English at the university here put it this way: "Yes, AE "do you have a cold" is creeping into BE usage but I still perceive it as a bit formal. I would only say "have you got a cold?".

    Any thoughts?
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    In American English, I don't think the "got" is ever required - whether the meaning is "own," "have right now," or "must."
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    In American English, I don't think the "got" is ever required - whether the meaning is "own," "have right now," or "must."

    Thank you, Elroy. Do you mean that you can always use "I've", "I haven't", "Have you?" without the added "got"?

    That's what your reply seems to suggest.

    And yet I've always been told that sentences like "have you a sister?", found in, for example, Jane Austen's novels, sound hopelessly dated nowadays even in BE.

    Any BE speakers around?


    I'd really like to get to the bottom of this, both for Acidella's sake and my students'.

    By the way, some of you may be interested to know that the definitive book on AE vs BE has finally been published by Cambridge University Press: British or American English?: A Handbook of Word And Grammar Patterns (August 2006).

    The author, Professor John Algeo, editor of American Speech, developed an interest in AE/BE differences while a visiting professor in the UK thirty years ago. He has since amassed citations, recordings, quotes etc, which have led to his recent book on the subject.

    I'll be ordering the book, since these topics do not seem to arouse much interest at EO.
     

    ed800uk

    Member
    UK English
    I agree with elroy; British English also doesn't need the "got".

    Contrary to maxiogee, I would be less likely to write "got". My wife, like maxiogee, is Irish; she would be more likely to write "got".

    Ed
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    What about "he hasn't a beard"? It's marked with a giant :cross: in the usage note for "have (got)" in the British Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English:confused:
    He has no beard is given as the correct sentence learners should use.

    Interesting. It would appear there isn't a consensus on this even among speakers of English English.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    "Have you a problem?" is not idiomatic or common in American English.

    I'm sorry; I should have been clearer. When I said that "got" was not necessary in American English, I did not mean that "do" wasn't either. :) In American English, one would say "Do you have a problem?" The point I was trying to make was that you do not have to say "Have you got a problem?" (even though you could). I wanted to clarify that in American English there is no difference in meaning between "(do/does) have" and "have got," and that most of the time people use the former.
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    "Have you a problem?" is not idiomatic or common in American English.

    I'm sorry; I should have been clearer. When I said that "got" was not necessary in American English, I did not mean that "do" wasn't either. :) In American English, one would say "Do you have a problem?" The point I was trying to make was that you do not have to say "Have you got a problem?" (even though you could). I wanted to clarify that in American English there is no difference in meaning between "(do/does) have" and "have got," and that most of the time people use the former.

    Thank you, Elroy:) That's very clear.
     

    Snowman75

    Senior Member
    Australia (English)
    Wow, I can see why this is so confusing. I tried listing every possible grammatically correct construction and I came up with no less than 20 different variants (including statements and questions, positives and negatives). I won't list them here because I think it will probably just create more confusion. What I will say is that in Australian English I believe you can form natural sounding expressions using just the following four forms:

    I have an apple:tick:
    I don't have an apple:tick:
    Do you have an apple?:tick:
    Don't you have an apple?:tick:

    I tried these out on all the examples that people have given so far, and it always results in a natural sounding expression:

    idea
    I have an/no idea.
    I don't have an/any idea.
    Do you have an/any/no idea?
    Don't you have an/any idea?

    clue
    I have a/no clue.
    I don't have a/any clue.
    Do you have a/any/no clue?
    Don't you have a/any clue?

    time
    I have the time.
    I don't have the time.
    Do you have the time?
    Don't you have the time?

    minute
    Do you have a minute?
    I have a minute.

    faintest
    I don't have the faintest (idea).

    colds
    Do you often have colds?
    I often have colds.
    I don't often have colds.

    cold
    Do you have a cold?
    I have a cold.

    sister
    I have a sister.
    Don't you have a sister?

    problem
    I don't have a problem.
    Do you have a problem?


    All of these sound perfectly natural to me, and would not seem out of place in either a formal or informal setting. I'd be interested to hear if any native English speakers disagree, or if anyone can think of any example for which one of the above four forms does not sound natural.

    In contrast, there was one example that demonstrated that the versions with "got" don't always sound natural:

    I've often got colds.:cross: I often have colds.:tick:
    I've rarely got problems.:cross: I rarely have problems.:tick:

    As far as meaning and nuance is concerned, in the cases where you can alternatively use "got" I can detect no difference in meaning. The "got" forms sound a little more colloquial, but the difference is only slight.
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    Snowman

    Thank you for responding to my questions. It is exactly the kind of response I was hoping for:) But then, I didn't expect anything less. Your posts at IE are a delight to read and highly appreciated.

    What about "he hasn't a beard"? Do you agree with the lexicographer who wrote the usage note in the Longman Dictionary?
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    "He hasn't a beard" isn't idiomatic AE. If we heard it, we'd think it was a Brit talking, and not knowing BE idiom like a native speaker, we wouldn't know if he was right or wrong.

    I don't think I can distil any rules for AE. We much prefer the "do you have" form, but not only do we say "have you got" fairly often, the "rules" go all to hell in colloquial speech, and of course a lot of writing-- especially advertising. The dairy industry uses "Got milk?" as a slogan.

    "Got any ideas?" is idiomatic, and "do you got" is even possible, believe it or not-- "d'you gotta minute?" "Have you any idea how much that costs" is also used-- but most "have you any wool" type expressions sound lah-ti-dah or British.

    We Americans seem to use "gotten" in ways that startle our friends across the pond.

    But rules? The 20 variations mentioned by Snowman75 sound like an understatement to me-- in AE expressions of possession are a real free-for-all. I've gotten a headache just thinking about it.
    .
     

    Snowman75

    Senior Member
    Australia (English)
    Snowman

    Thank you for responding to my questions. It is exactly the kind of response I was hoping for:) But then, I didn't expect anything less. Your posts at IE are a delight to read and highly appreciated.

    What about "he hasn't a beard"? Do you agree with the lexicographer who wrote the usage note in the Longman Dictionary?
    Thanks, I likewise look forward to your posts.

    To me, "he hasn't a beard" sounds archaic. The most natural phrases are "he doesn't have a beard" or "he hasn't got a beard". "he has no beard" sounds a little more formal to me, but is otherwise fine.
     

    Snowman75

    Senior Member
    Australia (English)
    But rules? The 20 variations mentioned by Snowman75 sound like an understatement to me-- in AE expressions of possession are a real free-for-all. I've gotten a headache just thinking about it.
    .
    I did say "grammatically correct". I didn't even want to think about trying to list forms which I consider ungrammatical. :)
     

    GavinW

    Senior Member
    British English
    What about "he hasn't a beard"? Do you agree with the lexicographer who wrote the usage note in the Longman Dictionary?

    Yes, LDOCE got this one right. For BE, anyway.
    But I found I had to think about it, and discovered the source of my hesitation lay in an assessment of the status of the indefinite article "a".
    Because there are very similar-looking sentences which are grammatically fine. Consider:

    "He hasn't a friend in the world"
    "I haven't a clue"

    Here, the "a" has a different status. I think of it as "indeterminate" (like "any", although "any" itself, in this sentence, doesn't actually work, since it would require a plural noun).
     

    GavinW

    Senior Member
    British English
    foxfirebrand;1385090 We much prefer the "do you have" form.[/quote said:
    This would seem to confirm my own understanding (and that of just about all Brits, I'd say) (read on).

    There are two expressions which I have always ascribed to Americans, in my pathetic US accent, to regale my friends with, as being unique to AE and marking the divide from BE:

    "Do you have a pen I could borrow?" (ladling all sorts of stress, and a certain lingering quality, on "borrow", and an exaggerated US-sounding "o")

    "Is this a problem that you have?"

    There, I think I've embarrassed myself quite enough for the present.
     

    GavinW

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Have you a problem?" is not idiomatic or common in American English.

    Ah! Really? That seems to negate what I said in my post above. Sorry to ask (and sorry to do so in several individual posts.. I haven't mastered the multi-response technique), but are you sure about that?
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    GavinW said:
    Ah! Really? That seems to negate what I said in my post above. Sorry to ask (and sorry to do so in several individual posts.. I haven't mastered the multi-response technique), but are you sure about that?
    I was going to speak up on this point too, but hesitated for some reason-- I agree with Elroy.

    But your version brings to mind a perfect example of the (I assume horrible-sounding) AE use of "got" without the "have."

    "You got a problem with that?" Or widdat.
    .
     

    GavinW

    Senior Member
    British English
    But your version brings to mind a perfect example of the (I assume horrible-sounding) AE use of "got" without the "have."

    "You got a problem with that?" Or widdat.
    .

    No, no, nothing horrible-sounding about that. In BE, this construction (or should I say "deconstruction"? ;)) is perfectly normal, and colloquial, if somewhat confrontational (but without the "widdat...).
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    GavinW said:
    No, no, nothing horrible-sounding about that. In BE, this construction (or should I say "deconstruction"?) is perfectly normal, and colloquial, if somewhat confrontational (but without the "widdat...).
    Wow! Is this a new development? By new I mean in the past four or five decades.

    "Got any wool" is something you could ask a black sheep nowadays?
    .
     

    GavinW

    Senior Member
    British English
    Wow! Is this a new development? By new I mean in the past four or five decades.

    "Got any wool" is something you could ask a black sheep nowadays?
    .

    Yes, and I can assure the black sheep would not even blink...

    "Hey mate, got the time?"
    "Got a light?"
    "I got a girlfriend in Manchester who's pretty good to me, ya know, she makes me tea in my favourite mug, that sort of thing, know what I mean, John?...";) with apologies to the genius in the shades

    And yes, I guess (to use a mild Americanism) it may have happened some time in the last 4 or 5 decades. But maybe some Dickensian scholar will prove me wrong...
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    "He hasn't a beard" isn't idiomatic AE. If we heard it, we'd think it was a Brit talking, and not knowing BE idiom like a native speaker, we wouldn't know if he was right or wrong.

    I don't think I can distil any rules for AE. We much prefer the "do you have" form, but not only do we say "have you got" fairly often, the "rules" go all to hell in colloquial speech, and of course a lot of writing-- especially advertising. The dairy industry uses "Got milk?" as a slogan.

    "Got any ideas?" is idiomatic, and "do you got" is even possible, believe it or not-- "d'you gotta minute?" "Have you any idea how much that costs" is also used-- but most "have you any wool" type expressions sound lah-ti-dah or British.

    We Americans seem to use "gotten" in ways that startle our friends across the pond.

    But rules? The 20 variations mentioned by Snowman75 sound like an understatement to me-- in AE expressions of possession are a real free-for-all. I've gotten a headache just thinking about it.
    .

    Fox

    Thank you for your response and for mentioning "do you got...?". I often hear it in movies and I was going to post about it.

    The original poster may have asked for "rules" since she's a student but everybody here knows that I abhor the reductionist simplification inherent in the concept of "grammar rules". I'm only interested in how people actually speak, whether in my native language or in a language I'm learning.
     

    susanb

    Senior Member
    Catalan-Catalonia
    Hello,
    Long time ago when I started my English learning (in London) I was taught that "got" was only BE and it was used for possessions. Have without got was for something like: I have a shower/breakfast/etc.
    So, BE would be:
    Have you got a brother?
    I haven't got a brother.
    I have/'ve got a brother or I have a brother. No way you could say I've a brother.
    Whereas AE would be:
    Do you have a brother?
    I don't have a brother.
    I have a brother or I've a brother.
    Reading your mails I can see that this is not true anymore (might not have been then) and AE uses "got" as well. Am I right?
    The structures for Have a Shower/Breakfast in BE and AE would be:
    Do you have a shower?
    I don't have a shower
    I have a shower
    No "got" at all.
    I was taught this was the proper grammar and any changes would turn to colloquial structures.
    Were they right?
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    Sorry, Susan, but that's not what we are discussing here. We're clearly only discussing "have" in its "own" sense (let's add "have an illness" to cover "have you got a cold", and also having a cousin, boyfriend etc since we don't "own" these).

    The initial poster specifically mentioned "have" in its "own" sense.

    Bringing up uses of "have" such as "have a party/bath/shower/walk/look etc", where the use of "do" is obligatory in questions and negative statements will only confuse the Italian student.
    What's more in many languages (eg in Italian) "have" has as its equivalent "do"/"make"(ie the equivalent verbs in those languages - "fare" in Italian)
     

    susanb

    Senior Member
    Catalan-Catalonia
    Sorry, Susan, but that's not what we are discussing here. We're clearly only discussing "have" in its "own" sense (let's add "have an illness" to cover "have you got a cold", and also having a cousin, boyfriend etc since we don't "own" these).

    The initial poster specifically mentioned "have" in its "own" sense.

    Bringing up uses of "have" such as "have a party/bath/shower/walk/look etc", where the use of "do" is obligatory in questions and negative statements will only confuse the Italian student.
    What's more in many languages (eg in Italian) "have" has as its equivalent "do"/"make"(ie the equivalent verbs in those languages - "fare" in Italian)
    I've read the inicial post again and I don't think I'm out of the subject, but anyway, I'll open another thread as I'm interested to know what I asked for. And sorry but I don't speak Italian, that's why I'm not able to know whether my questions can confuse Italian speakers.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    [...]So "have you a problem?" is idiomatic English in both BE and AE?:confused:
    I would prefer "Do you have a problem," though that needs to be said carefully to avoid appearing confrontational.
    On the other hand, "Have you a problem?" could also be confrontational.

    What about "he hasn't a beard"? It's marked with a giant :cross: in the usage note for "have (got)" in the British Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English:confused:
    He has no beard is given as the correct sentence learners should use. [...]
    As remarked somewhere else, "He doesn't have a beard," is more natural. It depends on the context of course - as would the choice of which variant to use for many of these examples.

    And finally, although I generally agree with the huge list at post#13:D and the suggestion that the four forms work most of the time, three of the examples in particular have idiomatic negative versions that are hard to ignore.

    I haven't a clue,
    I haven't the faintest.
    The third is time.
    If having the time means knowing what time it is, then the forms given are fine.
    If having the time means you have spare time to do something then:
    I haven't the time.

    And finally finally, I'm not at all clear that having a brother or having a shower is all that different from having a clue or having a cold - and as sister is already used in snowman's post, I can understand why susanb has joined in here:)

    Breakfast is a different matter, though - as would be party, walk and look - and having a shower in the sense of taking a shower would be different too. But it seems to me that susanb's brother, and her shower, are right on topic.
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    And finally finally, I'm not at all clear that having a brother or having a shower is all that different from having a clue or having a cold - and as sister is already used in snowman's post, I can understand why susanb has joined in here:)

    Breakfast is a different matter, though - as would be party, walk and look - and having a shower in the sense of taking a shower would be different too. But it seems to me that susanb's brother, and her shower, are right on topic.

    Since we were discussing whether "have got" or "have" with do in questions/negative statements were both idiomatic in the examples quoted, I thought it was important to stress that:

    1. Have you got a shower (in your bathroom)?

    can only mean "is there one in your bathroom?"

    whereas

    2. Do you have a shower?

    can mean:

    either the same as 1. or "do you wash by using a shower?" if followed by, e.g., "every day".

    Since the "I wash by..." sense of 2. always requires "do" in questions and negations I usually keep it separate when explaining this tricky topic to my pupils.

    Let me stress I'm not a native speaker so please do not hesitate to correct me if I'm wrong:)

    Michael Swan's oft-quoted Practical English Usage also clearly finds it useful to keep the two senses separate in his treatment of the uses of "have". As a teacher, he shares my preoccupations, which may not be appreciated by non-teachers.
     

    GavinW

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think Moodywop was specifically looking at the last bit of Susanb's post:
    to have a shower (ie to wash)
    to have breakfast
    to have a party
    etc

    These are, I think, different from the sense of have we've been looking at so far. (EDIT: Moodywop has made this clear in the post above). Her other example (have a brother) is the same sense of "have" as the sense in the rest of the examples in this thread.

    And in answer to her other question: Yes, I believe that responses from AE speakers here show that "got" with "have" is also common or acceptable in the US. Which certainly does contradict/update several grammar books/beliefs that many of us have grown up with.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Ah, clarity - it would never occur to me to hear "Do you have a shower?" as meaning "Do you clean yourself by taking a shower?":)
    To me it is the equivalent of "Have you got a shower?" - a question about the equipment in my house, hence my post.

    Best avoid the shower then, and the breakfast, and Carlo's party, walk and look:D
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    Ah, clarity - it would never occur to me to hear "Do you have a shower?" as meaning "Do you clean yourself by taking a shower?":)
    To me it is the equivalent of "Have you got a shower?" - a question about the equipment in my house, hence my post.

    Best avoid the shower then:D

    I made it clear that I was referring to questions where the addition of phrases like "every day" or "in the morning" made the meaning unequivocable:

    Do you have a shower every day? That's no good. Your skin is clearly very sensitive. You should use a mild shower gel

    Do you have a shower in the morning before going to work - or in the evening, when you get home from work?

    Again, I'm not a native speaker so I apologize if I didn't make that clear

    I use similar examples with my pupils. Have I been confusing the poor kids unnecessarily? And yet they tell me they find my examples helpful. Maybe they're just being polite:eek:
     

    GavinW

    Senior Member
    British English
    I made it clear that I was referring to questions where the addition of phrases like "every day" or "in the morning" made the meaning unequivocable:

    No worries: in my book you're dead right with your "do you have" in simple present (for a repeated, habitual action in the present). The fact "every day" did not immediately appear in the same line may have thrown one or two people for a moment.
    Indeed, the form of the question as you state it is heavily dependent on the chronological context...;)
    In fact, I can imagine a scenario in which it would not even need to be followed by an explicit reference to the time dimension, if that information is supplied previously; eg:

    "You don't like baths, you say you hate stand-up washes at the sink, and yet you appear spick and span very morning! So how do you get washed in the mornings? Do you have a shower? Is that it?"

    Not a very good example. But it's been a long day ;-)
     

    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."?
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Maybe he just didn't want to repeat the "got" construction. He could have said your version, or the version he did actually say. There's no difference in meaning in this context (of possessing something).
     
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