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Get is a common word in English. Its meaning depends on the kind of word that comes after it.

Get + noun/pronoun (object)

When get is followed by a direct object, it usually means 'receive', 'fetch', 'obtain', 'earn' or something similar.

  • I got an invitation to their party.
  • I will buy a car if I get my rise.


Get can have two objects.

  • Can you get me a coffee?
  • Let me get you a drink.
Get + adverb particle/preposition

Before an adverb particle or a preposition, get almost always refers to a movement of some kind.

  • Get in the car / Get out of of the car
  • Get on the bus / Get off the bus
  • Get up on your feet / Get down on your knees


Get can be followed by an -ing form. Common expressions are: get going and get moving

  • Let’s get going.

The structure get + object + -ing form means make somebody or something start doing something.

  • Don’t get her talking about her problems.

Get can also be followed by an infinitive. This structure means manage or have an opportunity or expresses a change toward a state (if the verb expresses a state, here get often means to begin).


  • When will I get to see you again? (= When will I get an opportunity to see you again?)
  • I didn’t get to see him - he had left before I arrived. (= I didn’t manage to see him.)
  • They will get to like me.        (they don't like me but this will change, they will begin to like me)


The structure get to be means become (or start to be).

  • Cathy is getting to be a lovely girl. (= Cathy is becoming a lovely girl.)


The structure get + object + infinitive means make somebody/something do something.

  • See if you can get her to sign that paper.


Get + adjective

When get is followed by an adjective, it usually means 'become'.

  • Get ready to leave in five seconds.
  • When I get nervous, I get angry.


Get + Past Participle

Get can be used with a past participle. This structure is often used to talk about actions to the subject, things that happen to the subject. Common expressions are get married, get divorced, get engaged, get lost, get dressed etc.

  • They are getting married in May.
  • I never get interviewed.
  • Get dressed in five minutes.


The structure get + object + past participle often has a passive meaning. It usually means ‘arrange for something to be done by somebody else’.

  • We are getting the house painted.
  • I must get my hair cut.
  • We must get the roof repaired before monsoon sets in.


This structure may also describe situations where something is done to us.

  • I got my car stolen last night.
  • They got their roof blown off in the storm.


With a time expression, this structure refers to the completion of an activity.

  • You must get the job done before lunchtime.
  • Get those orders placed as soon as possible.
Category: Problem Points | Added by: Teacher_Koce (2014-04-26)
Views: 9480 | Tags: usage of get, Getting, Get, Got
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