Have got and have

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You can use have got or have (without got). There is no difference in meaning:

  • They’ve got a new car.   or They have a new car.
  • Lisa’s got two brothers,   or Lisa has two brothers.
  • I’ve got a headache,   or I have a headache.
  • Our house has got a small garden,   or Our house has a small garden.
  • He’s got a few problems,   or   He has a few problems.

With these meanings (possession etc.), you cannot use continuous forms (am having etc.):

  • We’re enjoying our holiday. We’ve got / We have a nice room in the hotel, (not We’re having)

For the past we use had (without got):

  • Lisa had long hair when she was a child, (not Lisa had got)

In questions and negative sentences there are three possible forms:

Have you got any questions? I haven’t got any questions.
Do you have any questions? I don’t have any questions.
Have you any questions? (less usual) I haven’t any questions, (less usual)
Has she got a car? She hasn’t got a car.
Does she have a car? She doesn’t have a car.
Has she a car? (less usual) She hasn’t a car. (less usual)

In past questions and negative sentences, we use did/didn’t:

  • Did you have a car when you were living in London?
  • I didn’t have a watch, so 1 didn’t know the time.
  • Lisa had long hair, didn’t she?

Have breakfast / have a bath / have a good time
We also use have (but not have got) for many actions and experiences.

  • have breakfast / dinner / a cup of coffee / something to eat etc.
  • have a bath / a shower / a swim / a break / a rest / a party / a holiday
  • have an accident / an experience / a dream
  • have a look (at something)
  • have a chat / a conversation / a discussion (with somebody)
  • have difficulty / trouble / fun / a good time
  • have a baby (= give birth to a baby)

Have got is not possible in the expressions

  • Sometimes I have (= eat) a sandwich for my lunch, (not I’ve got)
    but
    I’ve got / I have some sandwiches. Would you like one?

You can use continuous forms (am having etc.) with the expressions:

  • We’re enjoying our holiday. We’re having a great time, (not We have)
  • Mike is having a shower at the moment. He has a shower every day.

In questions and negative sentences we use do/does/did:

  • I don’t usually have a big breakfast, (not I usually haven’t)
  • What time does Jenny have lunch? (not has Jenny lunch)
  • Did you have difficulty finding a place to live?

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