The verb “to get” is perhaps the most commonly used verb in spoken English. With many meanings, it is also perhaps the most difficult to learn. Below is a list of the most common meanings and uses of this verb.
Note: “To get” is an irregular verb. The past tense, as well as the past participle, is “got”.
“To get” + Direct Object
| ||Did you get my email yesterday?|
| ||I got my drivers license in the mail this morning.|
| ||Peter got his Master’s degree from Boston University in 2005.|
| ||We got permission to build the extension on our house.|
| ||Can you get some milk while you are at the supermarket?|
| ||Carrie is getting a new car next week.|
| ||How much do you think I can get for my old car?|
| ||I get overtime pay when I work more than 8 hours a day.|
| ||Can you get my jacket for me?|
| ||She got a cup of coffee and sat down to talk.|
“To get” + Expression of Place
When we use the verb “to get” to mean “to arrive”, the preposition of direction or movement, “to” is necessary.
| ||What time do you get to work in the mornings?|
| ||Greg didn’t get to the party until 11 o’clock.|
| ||Oliver can you help me? I can’t get the book, the shelf is too high.|
“To get” + Adjective
In this sense, “to get” indicates a process or change of state.
| ||Don’t get angry, I was just joking!|
| ||We better go inside, it’s getting dark.|
| ||Winter is almost here, it’s getting colder every day.|
| ||I’m getting tired, I think I will go to bed.|
| ||I heard you are sick. I hope you get better soon.|
| ||Brad jumped out of bed and got dressed quickly because he was late for work.|
| ||When did you get married?|
“To get” + Preposition or Adverb
There are many phrasal verbs which use the verb “to get”; below is a list of the most common.
To get on/in
Meaning: to enter. We use “to get on” with buses, trains, and planes, but “to get in” with cars and houses.
| ||Where do you get on the train? “The Broadway/Lafayette stop.”|
| ||The flight was delayed. We didn’t even get on the plane until 11:30.|
| ||Get in the the house, it’s raining!|
| ||She got in the car and immediately started crying.|
To get off/out of
Meaning: to exit. We use “to get off” with buses, trains and planes, but “to get out of” with cars, houses and rooms.
| ||We have to get off the bus at the next stop.|
| ||John got off the plane at 6 o’clock.|
| ||Get out of my room immediately!|
| ||She got out of the car and slammed the door.|
To get by
Meaning: to survive; to have just enough money
| ||How are you getting by right now without a job?|
| ||We can’t get by on just one salary.|
To get over"
Meaning: to recover, physically or emotionally
| ||Alice still hasn’t gotten over her ex-boyfriend.|
| ||Has your mother gotten over the flu yet?|
To get up
Meaning: to get out of bed
| ||The children get up at 7 o’clock every morning.|
| ||I didn’t get up until 11 o’clock this morning.|
Other Uses of “To get”
| ||I don’t get it, can you repeat what you just said?|
| ||Henry didn’t get the joke and so was the only one not laughing.|
| ||I tried to get Jane to come to the party, but she just wouldn’t be convinced.|
| ||Can I get you to change your mind?|