The verb TO GET

TO GET can be used in a number of patterns and has a number of meanings.

TO GET + direct object = to obtain, to receive, to buy
  • I got my passport last week. (to obtain)
  • She got her driving license last week. (to obtain)
  • They got permission to live in Switzerland. (to obtain)
  • I got a letter from my friend in Nigeria. (to receive)
  • He gets $1,000 a year from his father. (to receive)
  • She got a new coat from Zappaloni in Rome. (to buy)
  • We got a new television for the sitting room. (to buy)
TO GET + place expression = reach, arrive at a place
  • How are you getting home tonight?
  • We got to London around 6 p.m.
  • What time will we get there?
  • When did you get back from New York?
TO GET + adjective = become, show a change of state
  • I am getting old.
  • It's getting hotter.
  • By the time they reached the house they were getting hungry.
  • I'm getting tired of all this nonsense.
  • My mother's getting old and needs looking after.
  • It gets dark very early in the winter.
  • Don't touch the stove until is gets cool.
TO GET + preposition/adverb = phrasal verbs with various meanings
TO GET + Meaning Example
to get at try to express I think I see what you're getting at. I agree.
to get away with escape punishment for a crime or bad action I can't believe you got away with cheating on that test!
to get by manage (financially) Sam doesn't earn much, but we get by.
to get down depress, descend This rain is really getting me down.
to get off leave a form of transport (train, bus, bicycle, plane) We got off the train just before the bomb exploded.
to get on 1. enter/sit on a form of transport (train, bus, bicycle, plane)
2. have a relationship with someone
1. He got on his bicycle and rode down the street.
2. Amy and I really get on well.
to get on with to proceed I have so much homework, I'd better get on with it.
to get out of avoid doing something, especially a duty She got out of the washing-up every day, even when it was her turn.
to get over recover (from an illness, a surprise) Have you gotten over your cold yet?
to get through use or finish the supply of something We've got through all the sugar. Can you buy some more?
to get up leave your bed He gets up at 6.00 a.m. every morning.
to get up to do - usually something bad The children are very quiet. I wonder what they're getting up to.
Other expressions with GET
  • Do you get it means do you understand.
    Do you get what the teacher was explaining in class?
  • He's getting dinner tonight means he's preparing the meal.
    You can relax. It's my turn to get dinner tonight.
  • I'll get the bill means I'll pay.
    Put your wallet away! I'll get the bill.
  • That really gets me! means that irritates me.
    It really gets me when my sister shows up late.
  • To get rid of something means to throw it away.
    I'm going to get rid of all these old newspapers.
  • To get out of bed on the wrong side means to be in a bad mood.
    He got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning and he's been horrible all day.
  • To get your own back means to have your revenge or punish someone.
    She's getting her own back for all those rude things you said at the party last night.