Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Have or Have Got?

These days, in one of my classes I have come across another issue, confusing both for beginners and advanced students.
The verb To Have is an auxiliary in the English language. At my beginner classes I teach it right after the auxiliary verb To Be and the students grasp it because in our mother tongue To Be and To Have ( verbele a fi, a avea) are also auxiliaries.
But when I introduce Have Got, the students are at least confused. And this goes also for my advanced students, because they have previous different information due to the fact that in our schools a few  years back, the verb Have was taught, not Have Got.
So they ask questions about the use of Have Got instead of Have. It is difficult to explain to my beginners. Also the meaning of Got is confusing to them, being used (at that level of knowledge) to translate everything in Romanian. I usually explain to them that if we use Have Got in the affirmative, we also use Have as an auxiliary in the interrogative and negative forms. It is simpler this way because we basically use the same auxiliary in the affirmative, interrogative and negative forms. If we use Have, we can only use the auxiliary To Have in the affirmative. For the interrogative and negative forms, we are supposed to use another auxiliary, meaning the verb To Do. So I have to introduce to them in the same lesson, the third auxiliary To Do, which is even more confusing than using Have Got. My experience has told me that they get used to using Have Got in a very short time, after a little practice.
My advanced students regard this matter as being a little tricky, them not being used to Have Got before. Anyway, both Have and Have Got are correct, on condition the right auxiliary in the interrogative and negative forms is used.
So always use:  “I have got a cat”; “have I got a cat?”; ” I have not got a cat”.
Or you can also use:  ” I have a cat”; “Do I have a cat?”; "I do not have a cat”.
If you choose either of these, stick to it and use the same auxiliary verb.

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