sign saying: "you'll never get to work on time"

Uses of “get”

In English, “get” is an informal word and is used more often when speaking rather than when writing. It is very common and can have many different meanings. In this blog, I will explain some of the key uses of “get” and also teach you some common fixed expressions.

“Get”, or its past form “got” are extremely useful words when used correctly and can be used to replace a variety of other verbs such as “buy”, “obtain”, “receive” or, broadly speaking, “acquire”. “Get” is one of the most common verbs in the English language but has no equivalent in most other languages so try to pay special attention to how it is used.

Meanings of “get”

“Get” can be a synonym for the following verbs:

1. To Receive

Did you get my letter?

I got lots of presents for my birthday.

2. To Obtain (or buy)

Where did you get that nice jacket from?

She got the job that she wanted in the town centre.

3. To Arrive (notice the use of the preposition “to” in this case

When did she get to the party?

We got to the airport very late and missed our flight.

4. To Become (a change in state)

It’s getting very hot in here, I think I’ll open the window.

It got dark very early yesterday. The winter must be here.

“Get” + Past Participle

We sometimes use “get” with past participles. Look at the following:

1. Get married (marry) – She got married when she was 17.

2. Get divorced (divorce) – They got divorced last year.

3. Get dressed (dress) – I got dressed very quickly this morning.

4. Get undressed (undress) – I forgot to get undressed before bed last night.

5. Get lost (lose one’s way) – I got lost on the way to your house so I had to ask someone for directions.

Common expressions with “get”

There are many phrasal verbs which use the word “get” in English. Here are a few common ones:

1. I get on well with both my sisters. (I have a very good relationship with both my sisters.)

2. I don’t like these clothes any more I think I’ll get rid of them tomorrow. ( I’ll throw these clothes away tomorrow)

3. It’s difficult to get to know people in a foreign country (It’s difficult to meet people and make friends)

Practice Exercises

Write a synonym of get in the following sentences:

1. Where can I get a good sandwich around here?

2. What time did they get here last night?

3. It got very cold all of a sudden last night.

4. I need to get some stamps to post this letter.

5. He usually gets to work by train.

Rewrite the following sentences using the word get.

1. Do you know good places to meet people and make friends in this country?

2. He had to put his clothes on in the dark this morning.

3. I have a good relationship with my boss.

4. We’re going to throw away our old furniture next week.

5. It’s becoming very dark very early at the moment.

Use the comments box below to send us your answers to the practice exercises or to ask any questions about “get” and it’s uses.

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