Wednesday, October 24, 2007

MIni-Lesson: senses of "get"

The verb 'to get' is used in many senses in English and can be confusing at times. Here is a list of the top ten uses of 'to get' with simple explanations and example sentences. Of course, these are not all the senses of 'to get'. In fact, there are many phrasal verbs with 'to get'.


Sense 1

get = acquire -- (come into the possession of something; "She got a lot of paintings from her uncle"; "They got a new pet"; "Get your results the next day")


Sense 2

get = become -- (to change into a state; "He got annoyed when he heard the bad news"; "It must be getting more serious"; Get going!")


Sense 3

get = receive -- (receive something; "I got some clothes for Christmas."; "His movie got a good review"; "I got some books from my girlfriend.")


Sense 4

get = arrive -- (reach a destination; "She got home at 7 o'clock"; "She didn't get to Chicago until after midnight")


Sense 5

get = bring, fetch -- (go and bring or take back; "Get me those books over there, please"; "Could you get the wine?")


Sense 6

get= experience, undergo -- (of mental or physical states or experiences; "He got an idea"; "She gets vertigo when she looks out the window."; "They get nauseous when they drive.")


Sense 7

get = make, score -- (achieve a point or goal; "Nicklaus got a 70"; "The Brazilian team got 4 goals"; "She got 29 points that day")


Sense 8

get = contract, take -- (be stricken by an illness, fall victim to an illness; "He got AIDS"; "She got pneumonia"; "She got a cold from Tom.")


Sense 9

get = induce, stimulate, cause, make someone do -- (cause to do; cause to act in a certain way; "My children finally got me to buy a computer"; "My wife got me to pay attention to the speaker.")


Sense 10

get = pay back -- (take vengeance on or get even; "We'll get them!"; "That'll get him good!"; "This time I got him")


  1. Hi Ms. Vanessa, How are you?

    Using "to get" in different ways had always been quite baffling for me and whenever I used to read English literature of great writers the problem became more acute because they use it quite often. Now, with this article my problem has been solved to a great extent. Thank you very much.



  2. Thank you by "Mini Lesson"
    The verb "to get" is very used, I was confused frequently, but this lesson is a great help.

  3. Have you noticed how common expressions and words have the most - and most confusing - ways to use them? And it's not just in English either.

    Part of the prioblem with get is that a) it has so many different meanings depending on how it is used, and b) it's usage tends to the idiomatic,

    Ansd, not Rajoeev, I would question how much it appears in "great literature." It may appear there some but not as frequently as in popular literature, movies and informal speech. Can you come up with specific examples?

    What are some other words appearing in commonly used and idiomatic expressions that you find confusing?

    I appreciate it when you let me know something is useful but that still falls short of our participatory collaboration goal. This blog is supposed to be a group and collaborarative effort. I need more input from ALL of you.

  4. Hello!
    Firstly, my apologies for long silence, I didn’t to participate to our blog because my business trip to Germany, where I was for three weeks. Now, I’m preparing a little essay about this business trip for our blog group.
    The “Mini lesson: senses of “get”” was very helpful for me, sometimes I didn’t understood a complete sentences because of it.


  5. Good to hear from you Mark. I'm looking forward to reading your essay about your trip.

    Do you think ESL for business purposes would make a good lesson topic? First though, I should survey the group with a poll - ask them what kind of English they need the most and where/how they expect to use English.

  6. Ms Vanessa I read the ten uses of ‘get’. Time to time I use them when I’m writing.
    But I have no touched the meaning of sense 6. Maybe the reason is that I have some unknown words like, 'undergo', 'vertigo', 'nauseous 'until now.


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