General Writing and Grammar Help/got, gotten



Hope you are fine.

Which choice is correct? And if both are, then what is the difference between them?

"Peter, have you ....... your exam results yet?"

a) got
b) gotten

Thank you

HI, Hame,

You may hear both or even see both written, but only b) "gotten," is correct in this context.

"Got" is the simple past tense of the verb "to get"; "gotten" is part of the verb phrase that is the form in its past participle. In this form, the verb phrase must include not only the participle "gotten," but also a "helping" or auxilliary verb, such as "had," "have," or "has." These two verb parts comprise the phrase, but the phrase may be separated by another word, such as the subject of the sentence, a descriptive or negating adverb

Both parts of the verb phrase must be included for the sentence to be correct in utilizing the past participle form of the verb "to get" as "gotten."

Examples of correct usage:

I </b>have</b> finally </b>gotten</b> rid of the rats with poison. ("finally" is a descriptive adverb)

You </b>have</b> not </b>gotten</b> an "A" on any test this semester. ("not" is a negating adverb)

They </b>have gotten</b> ahead of us in this race and we will never catch up, now.

So, in your sentence, "Peter, </b>have</b> you </b>gotten</b> your exam results, yet?" the parts of the verb phrase "</b>have gotten</b>" are separated by the pronoun, "you."

To use the form "got" in this sentence commonly occurs, especially when less well-educated people are speaking or writing, but it is incorrect, even though quite understandable in terms of meaning.

I hope this helps. Please rank my response.

Best to you.


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Sally Ember, Ed.D.


I can answer any grammar, writing, reading, editing and proofreading questions for nonfiction, fiction, literary criticism. I can also help in most content areas except for hard science and narrow areas of history. Specialize in E.S.L. , those with learning disabilities and processing problems. Clarity, fun, and simple answers as well as assisting with improving to excellence.


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