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Confusing Words: Get (#7), by Dennis Oliver

Confusing Words:
Get (#7)

Another use for get is in the idiom has / have got.

In American English, the preferred past participle (third
form) for get is gotten when get is used in the present
or past perfect tenses. It's important to know this because
has got and have got look like present perfect tense,
but these two forms are actually used like the simple
present tense. Also, they use got, not gotten, and they
mean has or have.


I've gotten several letters this week.
( = I've received = present perfect )

I've got several letters. ( = I have = simple present )

She's gotten high marks ever since she started school.
( = She's received = present perfect )

She's got high marks. ( = She has = simple present )

I haven't gotten your report yet, Theo. When are you
going to turn it in? ( = I haven't received = present perfect )

I haven't got your report, Theo. You didn't turn it in.
( = I don't have = simple present )



Special Note:

Many people think that gotten has an "ugly" sound
and don't use it in present perfect tense. Instead, they
replace it with other words that have the same meaning
(for example, received).

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