Learn and practise have and have got.

A have and have got (= for possession, relationships, illnesses, appointments etc.)

You can use have or have got. There is no difference in meaning. You can say:

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

With these meanings (possession etc.), we do not use continuous forms (I’m having etc.):

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

For the past we use had (usually without got):

  • Lisa had long hair when she was a child. (not Lisa had got)
B In questions and negative sentences there are three possible forms:

have vs have got

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

  • Did you have a car when you were living in Paris?
  • I didn’t have my phone, so I couldn’t call you.
  • Lisa had long hair, didn’t she?
C have breakfast / have a shower / have a good time etc.

We also use have (but not have got) for things we do or experience. For example:


Have got is not possible in these expressions. Compare:

  • 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 (I’m having etc.) with these expressions:

  • We’re enjoying our holiday. We’re having a great time.
  • ‘Where’s Mark?’ ‘He’s having a shower.’

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

  • I don’t usually have a big breakfast. (not I usually haven’t)
  • Where does Chris usually have lunch?
  • Did you have trouble finding somewhere to stay? (not Had you)