Got or Gotten

When do you use "gotten" and "got"?

Brits do not use "gotten" nowadays, but it still features in some old terms like ill-gotten gains. Americans use "gotten" to show the process of obtaining but "got" to show possession or ownership. For example: Americans also use "got" with "got to" when it means must. For example:

Got or Gotten?

Writers are sometimes unsure whether to use got or gotten as the past participle of to get. It is fairly accurate to say that Americans use gotten while Brits use got, but that is not the whole story.

"Got To" Meaning "Must"

With the term got to (meaning must), Americans use got not gotten. For example:

"Got" Meaning "Have"

When got means have, Americans use got not gotten. For example:

Brits Sometimes Use "Gotten"

Gotten was the original past participle of to get. (It predates the forming of the United States by hundreds of years.) In fact, gotten still features in some British terms. For example:

A Quick Test

Gotten for Obtaining but Got for Possessing

In the US, have gotten implies the process of obtaining something, while have got implies possession. For example: Brits use got for both ideas.

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See Also

What are nouns? Jewelry and jewellry List of easily confused words