Difference Between Got and Gotten

Main Difference

The main difference between the words got and gotten is that the word got is common in British English, and gotten is common in American English.

Got vs. Gotten

American and British writers conjugate the verb get differently. British writers use the word got more. American writers use gotten more than their British counterparts. There is also a difference in usage in American English between got and gotten. In the wide varieties of English from outside North America, the past participle of getting is usually got in all its senses. Gotten is standard in a few phrases such as “ill-gotten gains.” Gotten appears occasionally. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Got implies the state of possession or ownership. Gotten implies the process of obtaining something. For example, she has gotten tickets to the Super Bowl. He has not got any money to go to the picnic. The first example is about having the tickets to the Super Bowl. The second example is a description of the ability of someone to pay for something. In Canadian and American English, the past participle of the verb get is often gotten. For example, we can say, “The book was not gotten easily” or “I have gotten behind on my work.” Got is the participle in some uses. Such as has got to or have got to means must (e.g., “We have got to go to the party.”) and where have got or has got means has or have (e.g., “I have got three sisters.”). The English speakers in North America preserved the verb gotten as the past participle of the verb got. The shortened version became standard outside of North America.

Comparison Chart

GotGotten
Conjugation of the verb getAmerican conjugate of get as a past participle
According to the Oxford English Dictionary
Implies the state of ownership or possessionImplies the process of obtaining something
Examples
He has not got any money to go to the partyShe has gotten two tickets to the cinema
British or American
Used by British writers/speakersUsed by American writers/speakers
American Variants of the Word
Receive/becomeMust/have

What is Got?

Got is a conjugation of the verb gets, meaning to obtain something. Evolution of language occurs for the number of reasons, including natural change over time, the geographical isolation of a group of speakers, and the need for new words to describe concepts that didn’t exist in the past. Same is the case with American and British forms of English. Americans have a distinctly American form of English, while the British have their linguistic superiority. The speakers of both languages have their usage of the verbs “got.” American writers use the verb gotten more. The word gotten has gained ground in British English over the last couple of decades. In the wide varieties of English from outside North America, the past participle of get is usually got in all its senses. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, got implies the state of possession or ownership. He has not got any money to go to the picnic. This example is a description of the ability of someone to pay for something. Got is the participle in some uses. Such as has got to or have got to means must (e.g., “We have got to go to the party.”) and where have got or has got means has or have (e.g., “I have got three sisters.”). Most British speakers use got instead of gotten in these sentences. Have got + noun phrase means “to have in someone’s possession.” This phrasing is common in British English.

Conjugations of Got

  • I/we get: first person singular, plural present
  • You get: second person singular, plural present
  • They get: third person plural present
  • Getting: present participle
  • Got: simple past

What is Gotten?

The verb get one of the top five most common verbs in the English language. The verb gotten is the past participle of the verb get. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Gotten usually implies the process of obtaining something. For example, she has gotten tickets to the Super Bowl. This example is a description of the ability of someone to pay for something. British writers use the word got more. Gotten is standard in a few phrases such as ill-gotten gains. Gotten appears occasionally. In Canadian and American English, the past participle of the verb get is often gotten. For example, “The book was not gotten easily” or “I have gotten behind on my work.” The English speakers in North America use the verb gotten as the past participle of the verb got. The shortened version became standard outside of North America. E.g. He has finally gotten rid of his chickenpox. Gotten is another way of conjugating get as a past participle. For example, Ella had gotten very angry when we tried to talk to her about her relationship with Mark in the past. Here are some examples of how an American speaker use gotten in a sentence, I have gotten better at dancing since I started taking dance classes. If you live in Canada or the United States, you will choose gotten as the past participle of get. If you are in any other part of the world, you will probably favor got.

Key Differences

  1. Got is the conjugation of the verb gets whereas gotten is another way to conjugate get as a past participle.
  2. Got implies the state of ownership or possession on the flip side gotten implies the process of obtaining something.
  3. The conjugation got is common among British speakers conversely the verb gotten is common among American ones.
  4. In American English, the past participle of get in the sense of “must” or “have” is got while the past participle in the sense of “receive” or “become” is “gotten.”

Conclusion

Got and gotten are the past participles of one of the most common verbs of English ‘get.” Both the forms of the verb are different according to their different use by the American and British speakers.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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