Lesson 23

Have Got = Got = Have

The short versions of the videos
The long versions are here

Level: Pre-Intermediate
A shopping cart in a supermarket.

Lesson contents:
  • Have Got = Got = Have (in both US and UK).
  • Gallon / liter conversion.
  • Requests with can and can't.
  • The use of "How about...?
  • US / UK differences: pudding.
  • Vocabulary: whatever.

Always watch the video several times without subtitles first. Train your ears! Your pronunciation will be much better if you follow this simple rule.

Exercises for this lesson:
How to do the lessons:
  1. Watch the video without subtitles.
  2. Do all the Exercises.
  3. Come back to this page.
  4. Watch the video with English Subtitles. Use the Pause button. People speak fast!

Problems? See general support or ask your question here.

The Definitive "Have Got" – "Got" – "Have"

Watch this video, then click on Exercise 1

Same video with Precise Subtitles:



Note: the link to the PDF transcript of the long verion of this video (9 minutes) include the transcripts of all the people you meet in this short version (3 min 30 seconds).

Although it has sometimes been difficult to find interviewees for Real English®, requiring us to wait in the street for longish amounts of time before finding acceptable candidates, it has generally been fun collecting "language donations" from the general public.

This was one of the most fun questions we've asked despite its apparent banality. Very few people refused to be interviewed for the question, and all of them accepted to sign the release forms after being interviewed.

We needed only 2 afternoons to get enough material for this particular video. One afternoon we interviewed people coming out of a Tesco in the south of England, and the other afternoon on the Island of Nantucket (Massachusetts, USA), waiting for customers to emerge from the island's only supermaket. The questions, of course, was "What have you got in the bag(s)?" and "Can you show us an item or two?"

There was one surprise for us while filming for this lesson. We thought that the British people we met would answer with "I've got..." in a systematic fashion while knowing that Americans would use "I've got..." and "I got" interchangeably. In point of fact, half of the British people we met (including a lot of Brits you do not meet in this video, for a wide variety of reasons) also used the so-called American "I got". It seems that this grammatical shortcut has become universal. Both nationalities used "I have", of course, as a 3rd synonymous form.

Finally, it was interesting to hear Siegfried, the interviewer, speak to myself, the cameraman. Since it was a fast-paced situation, he would often ask me "Got it?" or "Have you got it?". You can hear him asking me this question over a dozen times in this lesson. He wanted to be sure that I got good pictures of the items that people showed us, providing an unexpected "got" bonus for students.