“We Got” vs. “We’ve Got” vs. “We Have” – Complete Usage Guide

“Got” is an interesting word that technically has two meanings. In formal English, it means one thing. In informally English, it means another. This article will explore the meanings of “got” and how we can use it with the pronoun “we.”

What Is The Difference Between “We Got,” “We’ve Got,” And “We Have”?

“We got” is the most informal choice of the three. “We’ve got” is the most formal choice. “We have” is somewhere between the two. We use all three phrases to show that we have ownership of something in particular. “Got” and “have” are synonymous informally.

“We Got” vs. “We’ve Got” vs. “We Have”

What Does “We Got” Mean?

“We got” is an informal choice. We use “got” synonymously with “have” when we are writing or speaking informally. It means that we own something, even though “got” officially doesn’t show ownership or possession in any way.

  1. We got a lot to talk about, mate. I think you should sit down to discuss this with us.
  2. That’s all we got for the whole evening. I can’t believe people didn’t give us any more.
  3. It’s not much, but it’s what we got to go on. You’ll have to make do with all of that, I’m afraid.
  4. We got nothing left! I thought we had more, but it’s clearly all gone.
  5. We got some apples in from the shipment this morning. I think we’ll be able to put them out again later.
  6. It’s not all about what we got. Sometimes, it’s about what we’re going to get.
  7. I want to know what you got. Tell me all about it so I can decide what to do next.

What Does “We’ve Got” Mean?

“We’ve got” is the correct form. It’s the most formal variation and is a shortened form of “we have got.” We use this form because “have” acts as an auxiliary verb, which allows us to modify the tense in a way that shows we currently own something.

  1. We’ve got to get out of here. It can’t be healthy to be in a room like this for too long.
  2. We have got to tell the other people to leave. It’s not fair on any of them.
  3. You’re all we’ve got left. Please tell me you have a plan that might get us through.
  4. We’ve got a few things to say to you. I think you should sit down, shut up, and listen.
  5. This is what we have got. We hope it’s going to be enough to help you out with that.
  6. It’s what we’ve got, and it’s what we’ll keep. I think it’s best if we do it this way.
  7. Is that all we’ve got left? I could have sworn there was more out there than that!

What Does “We Have” Mean?

“We have” removes “got” from the equation entirely. It works in the same way because it shows that we own something in particular. It’s not as informal as “we got,” but it’s not as formal as “we have got” either.

  1. We have a few things to talk about, clearly. Let’s have a meeting about this right away.
  2. We have a lot left to say. I think it’s important that we say these things correctly.
  3. We have many more weeks together. Let’s figure out a better plan.
  4. The things we have are not important right now. Maybe they’ll come up again later down the line.
  5. Whatever we have right now is going to have to get us through the night. It’s as simple as that.
  6. We have nothing! I can’t believe you let us burn out to this point! Now, what can we do?
  7. I think we have enough now. Let’s just focus on ourselves for a little while, yeah?

Are “We Got,” “We’ve Got,” And “We Have” Interchangeable?

All three phrases overlap in some way, thus making them interchangeable. We can replace “have” with “got,” meaning that “we got” and “we have” are interchangeable. “We’ve got” also includes both “have” and “got,” which shows that it also works in the same way.

Sorry if you’re a little confused by that last bit! The issue is that it can be quite confusing to have all three phrases mean the same thing:

  • We got this competition in the bag.
  • We’ve got this competition in the bag.
  • We have this competition in the bag.

All three of the phrases are identical here.

“We’ve got” presents the most formal option, and it’s the one you should use in almost all cases.

“We got” is the least formal, but it’s used commonly by native speakers when ignoring formal rules.

“We have” is somewhere in between, and “have” implies that we own the competition already.

Is It “We Got You” Or “We’ve Got You”?

“We got you” is more informal, but it means “we have you.” It implies ownership of “you” in some way (i.e. saving someone by catching them as they fall). “We’ve got you” means “we have got you,” implying that you’re looking after someone or making sure they’re okay.

  • Don’t worry; we got you! You’ll be safe now that you’re with us.
  • We’ve got you covered, Jack. You won’t have to worry about losing with us around.

Is It “We Got Your Back” Or “We’ve Got Your Back”?

“We got your back” is an informal way to show that you support someone. “We’ve got your back” is the grammatically correct way to say you support someone, and it’s more common for someone to say this when they want to make sure they use proper English.

  • We got your back through this whole thing! Just watch!
  • Of course, we’ve got your back. We wouldn’t let you do this alone.

Is It “We’ve Got This” Or “We Got This”?

“We’ve got this” is the best choice when you want to be formal and correct. “We got this” is an informal phrase. It means the same thing, but native speakers usually say it rather than write it down because it clearly doesn’t follow the rules.

  • We’ve got this. We just have to work together to get it right.
  • Oh, we got this! I believe in this team!

Is It “We Are All We’ve Got” Or “We Are All We Got”?

“We are all we’ve got” is the formal variation of this phrase. We use “we’ve” to show that “we have got” something. “We are all we got” is correct, but it’s informal, and you won’t hear many people using it because “we got” does sound strange in this context.

  • We are all we’ve got left. We’ve got to stick together to get through this.
  • We are all we got, man. Are you going to back out on us now?

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