https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_Derek_

"Have gotten" is not a recent, vulgar, improper Americanism...

...contrary to what I was told in college (that only "got" is the correct past participle of "get"). This construction came up in the Danish course, and I was about to submit a problem report. But Grammarist notes:

"That gotten is primarily used in North America has given rise to the mistaken belief that it is American in origin and hence new and inferior. But gotten is in fact an old form, predating the United States and Canada by several centuries. It fell out of favor in British English by the 18th century, but it was eventually picked up again on the other side of the Atlantic, perhaps by analogy with forgotten."

http://grammarist.com/usage/got-gotten/

So dear Dr. Prof. Schmidt: I'm glad we've finally gotten this sorted out.

December 8, 2014

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TanagerMoonmist

I'd been told the verb was get-got-gotten, and have always used that form... and I'm under the impression that all foreign learners are taught the same - which I guess would explain why the Danish contributors used it.

December 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/landsend

That's what I learned too. And Merriam-Webster doesn't list it with a cautionary note.

December 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/landsend

Funny - OALD on the other hand lists it as AE usage: http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/gotten http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/get . And there I thought I learned BE originally...

December 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luko.

Here in Argentina, in most Institutes and schools, we are taught British English, so I learnt get-got-got

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mirifis

I confirm the get-got-gotten, in France at least

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rob2042

I remember as a kid using "have gotten" in an interview I did. My father was shocked that I would allow such a "mistake" to be printed. I argued that "have gotten" was perfectly fine English. I don`t think I convinced him.

December 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mirifis

By the way, I would add a recent-vulgar-improper americanism on the table : "he don't" "she don't" and "it don't" I hear EVERYWHERE at the US TV... not only series with maybe less educated people, but also well educated people and in the news as well. Someone can tell me what's going on ? I doesn't understand :)

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeIouch

It's colloquial language.

E.g. 'He don't want no tomatoes', 'She don't got no tomatoes', 'It don't bother me that you aint got no tomatoes'.

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mirifis

No no. It was never in those kind of sentences. It could be "He don't want it", as simple as that.

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeIouch

Yeah they were just some examples of how some people use those words, they can be used like that in other sentences too but it's not considered "proper" English.

Also maybe you're hearing "doesn't" as "don't", in some American accents they don't enunciate the "s" and I could understand a non-native hearing it as "don't".

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klgregonis

I've heard it too, and I don't think this is an old form. (I haven't looked it up yet, though). I think it may be because in some dialects, spoken quickly, doesn't sounds more like dudn't or even dun't, which easily transforms to don't.. Or maybe we are really hearing dun't, which we turn into don't because of our tendency to hear what we think we hear instead of what we do hear. (the dun't, by the way, has a glottal stop in front of the n)

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeIouch

I think I only really use 'gotten' in the pluperfect tense.

E.g. 'I had gotten a 100 day streak'.

'I have gotten a 100 day streak' sounds strange to me (Australian English).

By the way, it feels so weird typing 'gotten'! I think I've only used it in speech before haha.

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anachron

Check out this search for have got, have gotten, had got, & had gotten on Google Ngram Viewer!

Note, you can switch between the American and British corpus. There's quite a difference …

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ifphigenia

Gotten is of course perfectly correct in North America and was in Chaucer's England but it is no longer correct in Britain although it is obviously well understood. Therefore, for anyone learning English as a second language the best advice must be to decide whether you want to learn British English or American English, two almost but not completely identical languages and then try to learn the accepted usage there. In the case of gotten, it is of minor importance if you use the wrong word in the wrong country but some words have totally different meanings in the two languages and can be normal and acceptable in daily speech in one but downright obscene in the other .... take care to remember which these are if you come across them. You might wonder why I don't provide a list but firstly it would be fairly long and secondly it could be offensive. One last word, despite all I have just said .... don't worry about it, just learn and enjoy your new language. Rest assured if you do say something obscene by mistake you will be forgiven and corrected as it will be obvious that you didn't know and had no intention to offend. Good Luck !

P.S .... I am British and I don't consider American to be inferior but it IS different and that can be important from time to time. Plus, it is frustrating to find that your native language is often not recognised as correct purely because as has been rightly pointed out there are more American speakers alive than British but we do wish to remain alive as a species and not to become extinct like the Etruscan language speakers.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klgregonis

This not only happens from country to country, but can happen within a country in different dialect areas. Vocabulary is the part of language that changes most rapidly.

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ifphigenia

I couldn't agree more, I come from one part of Britain but moved to another 30 odd years ago and the first thing I discovered was that words I thought of as normal, everday words were completely unknown here and vice versa of course. The other difference is of course spelling and pronunciation which can also lead to problems in communication. The one thing I am certain about is that we should none of us claim that our form of English is superior to another because as you say, vocabulary evolves all the time and this is bound to be more pronounced between countries than between areas of countries. We should accept that we speak different but closely allied languages , different dialects if you prefer but different nonetheless and that as long as nobody tells us we are wrong for using our own version we can all co-exist happily. The problems arise when one or other of us claims "supremacy".I am sure that most of us would agree that this is not only ill mannered and divisive, it is also incredibly confusing for non-native speakers. It would be far more constructive if we all tried to help non English speakers to find their way through the maze of different English varieties in the least confusing way possible and we can only do this through cooperation and by accepting all versions as being equally valid, provided of course that the usage is correct in the speakers/writers own version. We can but hope :-))

December 12, 2014
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