Both \u201cgot\u201d and \u201cgotten\u201d are common terms in North America, but other English dialects do not use \u201cgotten\u201d at all. So why is this? And what is the exact difference between \u201cgot\u201d and \u201cgotten\u201d? Check out our guide below to find out how to avoid errors when using these terms.\r\nPresent and Simple Past Tenses of \u201cGet\u201d\r\nThe present tense verb \u201cget\u201d has several meanings, including:\r\n\r\n\tCome to have or receive something (e.g., I hope we get a good reception)\r\n\tAttain, achieve, or obtain something (e.g., I get a newspaper every day)\r\n\tReach a condition or state (e.g., He will get fat if he eats the whole cake)\r\n\r\nThe simple past tense of this verb is always \u201cgot,\u201d regardless of the context:\r\nWe got a great reception from the crowd.\r\nI got the newspaper this morning.\r\nHe got fat when he ate all the cake.\r\nThis applies in all English dialects. So, if you are using the simple present or past tense in your writing, the only terms you will need are \u201cget\u201d and \u201cgot.\u201d\r\nPast Participles: \u201cGot\u201d and \u201cGotten\u201d in American English\r\nWe use past participles to form the present and past perfect tenses, which both show that an action has been completed. This verb form will follow \u201chave,\u201d \u201chas,\u201d or \u201chad\u201d in a sentence. And American English uses both \u201cgot\u201d and \u201cgotten\u201d as past participles:\r\n\r\n\tWe use \u201cgot\u201d when referring to a state of owning or possessing something.\r\n\tWe use \u201cgotten\u201d when referring to a process of \u201cgetting\u201d something.\r\n\r\nFor example, if we were describing the process of \u201cgetting better\u201d at something, we would use the past participle \u201cgotten\u201d in the perfect tenses:\r\nShe had gotten better in the last year.\r\nBut if we were describing possessing enough time for something, we would use \u201cgot.\u201d For example:\r\nI have got enough time for a coffee before I go out.\r\nThe same usage applies in Canadian English. However, the term \u201cgotten\u201d is much rarer outside North America.\r\nPast Participles in Other English Dialects\r\nIn other English dialects, the correct past participle form of \u201cget\u201d is always \u201cgot.\u201d For instance, if we were to rewrite the examples above for a British audience, we would say:\r\nShe had got better in the last year.\r\nI have got enough time for a cup of tea.\r\nNotice that both sentences use \u201cgot\u201d as a past participle. As such, if you\u2019re writing for a non-American audience, you will not need the word \u201cgotten.\u201d In fact, the only time this term is used in dialects such as British and Australian English is in old-fashioned terms like \u201cill-gotten.\u201d\r\nSummary: Got or Gotten?\r\nIn American English, \u201cgot\u201d and \u201cgotten\u201d can both be past participles of the verb \u201cget.\u201d The correct term depends on what you are describing:\r\n\r\n\tUse got when referring to a state of possessing something.\r\n\tUse gotten when referring to a process of \u201cgetting\u201d something.\r\n\r\nHowever, \u201cgotten\u201d is extremely rare outside North American (especially in formal writing). As such, you should always use \u201cgot\u201d when you\u2019re writing for a non-American audience. And if you want to be certain your writing is the best it can be, don\u2019t forget to have it proofread.