The main uses of the verb to get
English grammar (See all our English grammar tips)
The main uses of the verb TO GETTo get is a very commonly-used verb in English and has many different uses and meanings:
Main meanings of TO GET:
• to obtain, to receive, to become, to find:
Did you get my e-mail? Did you receive my email?
Where did you get this information? Where did you obtain or find this information?
I got a raise. I received or was given a pay rise.
• to go, to arrive (expresses movement and travel):
How can I get there? How can I travel or go to that place?
to get on (the bus) to enter (the bus)
to get in (the car) to enter (the car)
to get away to escape, to flee
• in the reflexive form, it expresses the idea of passing from one state to another, or evolving:
The kids are getting tired. The kids are becoming tired.
Kevin got drunk last night. Kevin drank a lot of alcohol last night.
Get ready! Prepare yourself!
It's getting late. It's becoming or starting to be late.
• In the passive voice, to get is frequently used instead of to be to emphasize the idea of some effort being made:
to get invited to be invited
to get hired to be hired
to get killed to be killed
• to have something done:
to get something done to have something done
Icarus got his hair cut. Icarus had his hair cut (by a barber).
• to give, to serve:
Can I get you a drink? Can I serve you a drink?
• to bring, to take:
I'll get you there on time. I'll take you there on time.
• to understand:
I didn't get what you just said. I didn't understand what you just said.
• to catch:
Get him! Catch him! Stop him!
• followed by an infinitive, to get expresses the idea of an action finally taking place:
Susie and Philip will eventually get to be friends. Susie and Philip will eventually have the chance to be friends.
• and many other meanings, especially when it is followed by a preposition:
to get up to arise, to stand
to get along to have a good relationship
to get back to return, to go back, to arrive home
to get together to unite, to link, to meet
to get down to to start working on
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