get and got in English
Forms of the verb get
/ 2nd sing
/ you / they
verb to get as a
get is one of the most common verbs in the
English language, and for this reason it has a lot of different
Examples of get
as a main verb
- As a main verb, get
plays the part of a "pro-verb" in the way that "it" is a "pronoun".
Often it is combined with a particle (preposition or adverb) ; examples
of this are treated below. In such cases, get
is a full verb in its own right, most commonly with the meanings of acquire, become, cause
but several other meanings are possible. (examples1
- 12 below)
- In the present perfect,
got often often functions as a present tense,
meaning have or possess.
(examples 13 and 14 below)
- Get + object + past participle : as in get it mended - get
is used in the
meaning of cause (to
happen) - (examples 15 - 17 below)
- I'm getting a new car tomorrow. (acquiring,
- He gets very cross when you ask him personal
- I'm getting someone to cut the grass. (finding,
- We'll get to London at 7.30 pm. (arrive)
- I'm going to get top marks in my exam. (achieve)
- I just don't get it ! (understand)
- If you don't take your pills, you may get typhoid.
- It's almost six thirty; we really ought to get going
- I got the last two loaves of bread in the shop. (bought,
- We're got rather cold waiting for you. (become)
- He's just got a new job (found)
- Hello! We're early, but we've got here faster than
- He's got two sisters and a brother (has,
- He's got
three Rolls Royces and a Bentley. (has,
- I'm getting a new suit made specially for my wedding.
- He got his photo taken by a famous photographer.
- Have you got everything finished?
got or has
gotten in American English?
English does not use
in the present
meaning of possess
is the normal past participle in American English only when the verb get is used in the
present perfect, with the meaning of become or
/ gotten a new job (found,
Hello! We're early, but we've got /
gotten here faster than expected. (reached,
There's a storm coming; it's got /
gotten very dark outside (become)
/ gotten two
sisters and a brother (has,
three Rolls Royces and a Bentley. (has,
is the base verb used in a considerable number of phrasal and prepositional
verbs in English. Unfortunately there is no way to master and
understand them all without learning them either deliberately
or through practice.
Phrasal and prepositional
verbs with get
Here are some of the more common examples:
Two-part verbs : Get
away, get across, get by, get down, get in, get on, get round, get
through, get out, get over, get up
ought to get away
by six at the latest. (depart,
Three-part verbs : Get
away with, get down to, get on with, get round to, the
meanings should be clear from the examples.
I'm trying to get this across simply. (explain)
We ought to be able to get by with £100. (manage,
Can I get down, please.. (leave
Get in quickly, it's going to rain very hard. (go
Peter and Natalia get on very well together (like
I can't get through this in a week. (do,
Get out !. (Leave,
He got over his pneumonia quite quickly. (recovered
I got round the problem by using my head. (avoided,
I always get up late on Sundays. (get
out of bed)
He looks so innocent
he could get away with murder
Come on, it's already 8.30, it's time to get down to work.
Get on with the job, and stop looking out of the window.
I've got too much work this week, so I don't think I can get round to
mending your computer too.
often used, particularly in colloquial styles, as a passive auxiliary,
in place of be.
As with other forms of the passive,
passive sentences with get
are mostly intransitive,
can also be used in ditransitive passives (passives with an object)
(Examples 6 - 8 below)..
- Sorry I'm late, the train got (was) delayed.
- My grandfather got (was) killed in the war.
- She's getting (being) driven to the ceremony in a big
- Survival training includes getting (being) dropped in
the middle of the desert.
- We're getting picked up at 7.15 tomorrow morning.
- She got given a lovely present by her boyfriend
- Everyone got clearly told what to do by the
- I got asked a very difficult question.
For information on "got to" as a modal verb, see Modals of obligation.
Got to -
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