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-   -   "I got it" (http://www.eslhq.com/forums/esl-forums/english-questions/i-got-16687/)

thadajirajaras Jun 1st, 2010 05:09 am

"I got it"
 
What about "I got it" in English" which means like "I will do it myself (you don't have to do it.)"

For example:
When you want to open the door or keep something that felt down, you say "I got it"

Then, your friend don't have to open the door or keep that thing because you will do it yourself.

I wonder why they use past tense when It will happen in the future.

susan53 Jun 1st, 2010 07:27 am

Re: "I got it"
 
I got it (or I've got it) used in this sense really means You don't have to worry about it - I'm dealing with it. - or in other words I've already taken charge of it Hence the form of the verb, which is not actually a past form, but present perfect with the meaning past action with present result, the same as in eg Help! I've cut myself! or The taxi has arrived.

An example :

A : David, the phone's ringing! I'm in the bath!
B : OK, I've got it!

So it's not really used to say that you want to do something yourself, but rather to agree to help another person.

Very often though, the pronunciation of have is so much weakened that it disappears completely - with the result that it sounds exactly the same as a past verb : I got it. But it's not - as you said, a "pure" past wouldn't make logical sense here.

Many native speakers however, would be convinced that it is an "ordinary" past form. It's the type of expression that is learnt and used as an unanalysed "chunk" - a bit like "Never mind" or "Go ahead". When these expressions are used, the speakers aren't thinking of the meaning of each individual words. They're just "ready made" expressions which are used in specific situations. Ask someone what "never mind" means and they won't say "do not get disturbed at any moment in time" but "it doesn't matter".

In the same way "I got it" is likely to be used as a chunk, with no thought to the actual meaning and therefore the grammar that's behind it. It's a tendency that started with US English, but I think you're now just as likely to hear "I got" as "I've got" in British English too (I say it myself), even when the concept expressed quite clearly needs a present perfect because it's an event which combines past and present rather than being pure past. It's happening with other verbs too, and I think there's strong evidence for the argument that the present perfect is slowly dying out.

A pity - I'm rather fond of it ...

thadajirajaras Jun 12th, 2010 05:56 am

Re: "I got it"
 
How about these two sentences?
Do they make sense?

1)I've got it to open the door.
2)You've got to do what?

susan53 Jun 12th, 2010 01:09 pm

Re: "I got it"
 
(1) doesn't make sense.

(2) makes sense but has a completely different meaning to the sentences you were asking about. It's the same as You have to do what?? Remember that have to expresses necessity - eg My train's at 6 so I have to get up at 4.30 and have got to can function as an alternative version : My train's at 6 so I've got to get up at 4.30. There's no difference in meaning between these two.


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