reported speech and have got

Hello fellow teachers,

Is anyong familiar with the English book for seniors, “Blooming Late”?

In addition the the course book there are several readers.
These stories are written in British English. While reading these stories, I ran across a strange use of reported speech that I´ve never seen before and I wanted the opinion of other teachers if this use is correct. Here is an example:

" I´ve got three children"

She said that she had got three children.

Can this be correct???

She said that she had three children is what I would say…

Thanks a lot,



I’m not quite sure what your objection is to ‘have got’ and what the connection is with reported speech. Technically the change from present to past is acceptable, isn’t it?


Hi Alan,

I don`t have any objection to “have got”. I have an objection to “She said that she “had got” three children”, or
"He said that he “had got a new job”.
For me, correct would be, “She said that she “had” three children”, or
“He said that he “had” a new job.”


Hi, Loretta
I think I know what point you’re trying to make. There’s 2 meanings to have got -
1)it means have and
2)it is the perfect infinitive of get
When you turn direct speech into indirect one, you must change have got to had if you use it in meaning 1 and to had got in the case of meaning 2

I.e. I’ve got a pencil => I said that I had a pencil
This rule is in my textbook on English.

Hi Alex,

Thanks! That´s exactly what I need to hear. Could you give me the name of this textbook?
What´s your native language?


Hi Loretta,

We’ll clearly have to differ on this as to my mind changing ‘have got’ to simply ‘have’ when put into indirect speech also changes the meaning.


Hi Alan,

Mmmm, maybe we just don´t understand each other…

I can´t make sense out of a sentence such as “She had got three children”.

Hi Loretta,

  1. ‘She said that she had three children’. - ‘had’ means ‘to possess’.
  2. ‘She said that she had got a new job’. - ‘had got’ means ‘to obtain’.
    So in 1) we use ‘had’ and in 2) we use ‘had got’.( Unit 27 ‘Advanced Grammar in Use’ by Martin Hewings.)