Got vs. Gotten in Past Particle

British and American orthography differs in a couple of areas. These distinctions frequently come about due to the fact that UK English kept the way of words writing which they absorbed from other languages (e.g. French), while US English adapted the spelling to depict the way how the words actually sound when they're spoken.


UK words ending in -our usually end in -or in US English (flavour – flavor, colour – color, humour – humor). Verbs in UK that end in -yse are always spelled -yze in US (analyse – analyze). UK English words that end in -re frequently end in -er in US English (centre – center, litre – liter). In US, people go on vacation, live in apartments and play soccer, while British go on holidays, live in flats, and play football.


Don’t worry about these minor diversities in the past forms of irregular verbs. Brits tend to think of the American way as incorrect, but people from these countries can speak and understand each other without any problems. Americans use the –en ending for some irregular verbs in the past participle form. Brits only use got, while Americans use both got and gotten in the past participle.


In accordance with Oxford Dictionaries, the verb get is one of the top five most commonly used verbs in the English language. Some sources say gotten is the past participle of get and today we will find out where to use get got gotten or get got got.

The word ‘get’ has two alternative past tense forms. The first is got which generally preferred in Britain. The other is gotten which is more commonly used in Northern America. This is one of the very few straight up grammatical diversities between the US and UK English. The majority of the distinctions otherwise have to do with spelling, pronunciation and some word-usage. For example, the word “whilst” is used in UK English, but not American.

But the truth is that the word gotten is, actually, an old form that dropped out in UK English in the 18th century. It was in use in England at the time America was colonized by the English. If we look up this word in the Oxford English Dictionary, we find out that this word is definitely of British origin its first use is back in the 4th century. But then it slipped out of use in British English, along with such words as fall for “autumn” and guess in the sense of “think”.

There is also an incorrect variant of gotten – gotton. It would be a mistake to use it. It is a wittingly wrong usage that is not popular and not widely used.

If you live in the United States or Canada, you will probably choose gotten as the past participle of get. If you are in another part of the world, you might favor got. No matter where you speak English, get is a common verb, so it’s important to use it correctly.

So if you are asked “Is gotten a word?” – the answer should be that “gotten” is indeed the grammatically correct application when you are using American English.

So today we have learned that even though Brits and Americans speak one language, there are still a couple of differences due to various reasons. The British respect their history and try to not make any changes. Americans tend to simplify the writing of some words and tend to write words in the way how they're pronounced. We have found out the distinction between the words – got and gotten. Americans prefer gotten but it is originally a British word that fell out of use.