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)
    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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