PDA

View Full Version : Got vs. gotten



reph
07-04-2006, 03:18 AM
Recovered from Google's cache.
__________________________________________________ ________


06-17-2006, 5:42 AM
Steve 211

Which of these is correct:

I should've gone and got her.
I should've gone and gotten her.

But he was even more scared that word had got out.
But he was even more scared that word had gotten out.

I tried to find an answer on the web, such as here, but I still can't figure it out.

Also, while "gotten" seems the proper way, this is a first person narratator, so it's more like dialogue, where one would hear "got" more often.
________________

06-17-2006, 06:50 AM
aruna

For me gotten sounds always wrong but don't heed me - I'm Brit-educated. (gotten's a cardinal sin in brit english)
________________

06-17-2006, 06:57 AM
Honey Nut Loop

I only use gotten in first person POV if that is how the character speaks. I'm a brit too.
________________

06-17-2006, 07:27 AM
kc361

Use gotten if you have an auxillary verb - "have gotten"

If not, just use got. . . .

"They got the chicken" ...vs...

"They've gotten the chicken"

If you're writing in first POV, then I'd go with whichever one you best see your character using.
_________________

06-17-2006, 07:33 AM
CaroGirl

I'm with aruna (Canadian with Brit parents). I never use *gotten*. Just sounds wrong to me.
_________________

06-17-2006, 07:34 AM
Puma

On the verb to get - get is the present tense, got is the past tense, getting is the present particle, and gotten is the past participle. So whenever have occurs before "to get" in a sentence, it should be gotten. However, in conversational speech, a lot of people say "What have you got there?" In actuality, that should be "What have you gotten there?" Puma

________________

06-17-2006, 07:37 AM
moth

I'm a Yank, and I'm going with "gotten" because your sentences are in past tense (and also it just sounds right to my ear ). As the page you linked said, the phrase "I've gotten the answer" is okay in American English if it's meant to be in past tense (I've figured out the answer) but not present (I have the answer). Your sentences are in past tense.

But I agree with the others -- if this is first person, when in doubt use what your character would use.

moth
________________

06-17-2006, 09:41 AM
maestrowork

I would use "gotten" in both cases. However, I'd probably use "I've got an idea."
_________________

06-17-2006, 11:15 AM
reph

"Gotten" isn't taboo in U.S. English, but it's been fading out over a long period. "Got" is preferred except in set phrases like "ill-gotten gains."

_________________

06-17-2006, 12:25 PM
Mike Coombes

Surely there's no such word as 'gotten'? In dialogue, maybe. Anywhere else, I'd rather slam my genitalia in a door.
_________________

06-17-2006, 12:43 PM
reph

Mike, stay clear of doorways and check a few dictionaries.

________________

06-17-2006, 01:03 PM
waylander

'Gotten' labels you as an American writer. If you are comfortable with that then use it. If you are submitting to non-US markets change it.
________________

06-17-2006, 01:50 PM
Puma

Okay, our American English is a derivation of British English. As far as I know, all English contains the same parts of speech. Are you saying that British English doesn't use past participles or is that only the case with get / gotten? Elucidate me.

________________

06-17-2006, 01:56 PM
Jamesaritchie

I'm with reph on this one. Unless it's a set phrase, which may be a cliche, I'd avoid "gotten" completely.

And "got" is one of those words that can be overused with incredible ease. Can't tell you how many times I've seen sentences such as, "I got up, got dressed, and got breakfast."
________________

06-17-2006, 03:31 PM
Sandi LeFaucheur

My dictionary (Collins) says that gotten is the past participle in the US. Nasty, nasty word. But then, as a child, I was never allowed to say "got". It wasn't "I've got a cold", it was "I have a cold". And yes, I'm English.
________________

06-17-2006, 06:17 PM
reph

Are you saying that British English doesn't use past participles or is that only the case with get / gotten? Elucidate me. British English uses past participles. In English as spoken and written by Brits and many Yanks, the past participle of "get" is "got."

Are you sufficiently elucidated now?
________________

06-17-2006, 07:08 PM
maestrowork

I have always used "gotten" and I had a British education. Now I am confused.
_________________

06-17-2006, 07:58 PM
Puma

In the US, is this regional or more contemporary? Puma

________________

06-17-2006, 09:07 PM
Scribhneoir

I'm American, I use "gotten" as the past participle and I don't know anyone who doesn't. I'm quite surprised to hear Reph say that it's been fading and we've been heading toward the British usage of "got."
________________

06-17-2006, 09:16 PM
Jamesaritchie

I'm American, I use "gotten" as the past participle and I don't know anyone who doesn't. I'm quite surprised to hear Reph say that it's been fading and we've been heading toward the British usage of "got."I honestly do not ever remember using "gotten" in speech or in writing. It's also pretty rare to hear others use it, or to see it in professional writing, other than as set phrases.

I can't even come up with a sentence where "gotten" works, or is needed.

"Got" and "get" are nearly always better usage, and even they can be seriously overdone with very little effort.
________________

06-17-2006, 09:48 PM
reph

Modern English Usage (Fowler) says: "Gotten still holds its ground in American English. In British English it is in verbal uses (i.e. in composition with have, am, etc.) archaic and affected..." That's the second edition, 1965.

Some American editors considered gotten poor usage in the 1960s.
________________

06-18-2006, 08:03 AM
Steve 211

Thanks for the tips, everyone.

About the Brit/English discrepency, here's a bit from this site.

It's true that the British stopped using have gotten about 300 years ago, while we in the Colonies kept using both have got and have gotten. But the result is not that Americans speak improper English. The result is that we have retained a nuance of meaning that the unfortunate Britons have lost.
And hey, James, I thought I had you with "gotten" being in one of your favorites, Huckleberry Finn, but I did a search on it at Amazon and there's not one mention of "gotten." There are, however, 302 pages with "got."
________________

06-18-2006, 08:28 AM
Puma

I'm surprised at all the gots. We were taught gotten in school. My father was an English prof. Both my teachers and my father would have leveled both barrels on the impropriety of have got as a replacement for have gotten. The only instances where have got was acceptable was in dialogue by someone who was not supposedly of the educated class. Puma
________________

06-18-2006, 10:57 AM
Jamesaritchie

I'm surprised at all the gots. We were taught gotten in school. My father was an English prof. Both my teachers and my father would have leveled both barrels on the impropriety of have got as a replacement for have gotten. The only instances where have got was acceptable was in dialogue by someone who was not supposedly of the educated class. Puma"Got" does tend to be overused by the uneducated, but it's overuse that's the problem, not the usage itself, and "gotten" is often used even more poorly by the uneducated. "Got" is a perfectly good word, and while it usually shouldn't substitute for "gotten," it's the correct grammatical choice far more often than not. Few people, educated or not, speak in the past participle.

I assume even your father approved of using "got" when it was the correct grammatical choice, as it most often is.

"What have you "gotten" there" is fine usage, in the right context, but it isn't often anyone needs this context.

"Gotten" just does not work itself into the language at all well. Far more often than not, when a sentence requires "gotten," you've written a bad sentence, and there's almost certainly a better way to state your case.

I will concede that "got" is most often a dialogue word, but not only for the uneducated. That's just wrong. "Got" has always been a dialogue word of the educated and uneducated alike. It's only that the uneducated tend to overuse it.

"Gotten," , however, tended to be a rebellion against the literacy and grammar of the British, and just never did work out well.

But it's just wrong to think the educated do not use "got" in speech. They do. Always have, always will. There are simply too many instances where "got" is the correct grammatical choice, and far, far too many instances where you have to jump through hoops to avoid it. Jumping trhough hoops make for bad speaking and bad writing.
________________

06-18-2006, 01:18 PM
Puma

Thanks, James. In my background, it was considered appropriate to say "By morning we had gotten to Bridgeport" rather than "By morning we had got to Bridgeport". The got just makes me cringe (possibly the gray hair showing through). Puma
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last edited by Puma : 06-18-2006 at 01:22 PM.
________________

06-18-2006, 7:38 PM
pdr

But Puma...
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You arrive, that's the verb to use not got.

'By morning we had arrived in Bridgeport.'
________________

06-19-2006, 05:00 AM
Puma

It was an example, pdr.
_______________

veinglory
07-04-2006, 03:22 AM
Gotten is indeed American dialect (UK got/got, US got/gotten). Which I why I got very annoyed with a medieval romance set iin Europe which had the heroine use the word.