Every language has one of those words that you hear all the time, but it’s used in so many different ways that it can be really confusing. In most cases, the translation of this word doesn’t make any sense, or you wouldn’t use this word the same way in your native tongue. In this video article we’re going to learn about one of the English language’s most commonly misused and often misunderstood words, GET.
GETTING TO KNOW GET
The word “get” always leaves people in doubt, and it can be very frustrating for the average English learner. The problem is that their are so many expressions and phrasal verbs that use the word “get” that it can be very confusing. Let’s take a look at some literal meanings.
6 Uses of the Word ‘Get’
The word “get” is so commonly used as a substitute for many words. A lot of the time when we use “get” it makes it less formal and it’s a lot more common in spoken English. Here are some examples of the 5 most common substitutions.
GET = BECOME (before adjectives)
When used before an adjective, the word get is a common substitution for the word become. This means that you are starting to become that adjective.
- If you don’t eat now you will get hungry later
- He got really angry when I told him I was leaving
- she is getting really skinny
GET = ARRIVE
The word arrive sounds formal when used in conversation. Arrive would be commonly used at airports/ travel arrangements or in a serious business setting. In normal situations we tend to use “get”.
- What time did you get there?
- I’ll ring him when we get to the park
This is a common mistake amongst Brazilians. Usually a Brazilian would use the word, “win” (Ganhar) in this case. In English “win” would only be used in regards to a prize or a competition/game.
- I got some cool presents for my birthday
- I got an email from my friend in Australia
- She always gets paid on Thursday
GET = OBTAIN/BUY
The word “buy” is used when you’re specifying the fact that you purchased something. If that’s not so important we substitute it for our good friend “get.”
- I got a new suit to wear to the conference.
- They got their instruments from the U.S.A.
GET = UNDERSTAND
This is simply an alternative way to say understand. You will here this more so in informal conversation but it doesn’t sound rude or inappropriate if it is used in a formal setting.
- Do you get what I’m saying?
- I don’t get it/ Got it!
GET = FETCH
In other words this meaning of “get” is when you leave where you are to collect (fetch) something and come back. A lot of people use the word take in this case which would be incorrect.
- Can you get me a glass of water?
- I’m going to get her from work.
- I’m going out to get some milk.
Expressions with GET
These are some of the most common, out of many. For more a more extensive list of expressions with “get”, check out this link http://www.wordreference.com/enpt/get To get along with- to have a good relationship with someone or a group of people.
- I get along really well with my co-workers
- He doesn’t get along with his in-laws
To get over something- to no longer feel bad, frustrated, or sad about something.
- I’m getting over the chicken pox
- He’s still getting over his bad break up with his girlfriend
To get rid of- to be relieved of something in you life by giving it to someone or throwing it away
- I’m trying to get rid of my old car but no one wants to buy it
- The boss got rid of all the unnecessary office equipment
To get to know someone- to be in the phase of learning about a person and becoming friends with them; to be starting to know all about a person, city, or even a product or service.
- I would really like to get to know your sister
- I’m getting to know the city really well
- I should start getting to know how to use this program
To get by- to be able to survive with the limited supply or knowledge of something that you have.
- I make just enough money to get by
- My Spanish isn’t so good but I can get by
So now that you know the uses of the word get, go out and put it to test. Try identifying the different uses of get while watching a movie, T.V. show or listening to some music or podcasts. Hopefully you will start to get how we use get little better, take advantage of all the online English resources and get excited about learning. That’s enough “gets” for one day, If you have any questions or feedback feel free to comment. Until we meet again Real Life English readers.
Like what you read?
For more articles that will revolutionize your English and to stay current with everything happening in RealLife English (community, events, resources) remember to sign up for our mailing list!