The Wonderful World of GET

Get is a very special verb in many ways. Here is a lovely list to get you in the mood for getting to grips with the plentiful plethora of freaky functions and useful uses of get.

Get is generally considered to be more appropriate for somewhat informal and conversational contexts, but not strictly so. Let’s get to the bottom of this get malarkey.

  • Get as OBTAIN or RECEIVE

Did you get good grades at school?

And then, as a well-done from your parents, did you get a car for your birthday?

But then have you realised that getting a good job is more difficult than you thought?


  • Get as GIVE or PAY FOR

Do you need to get your mum a birthday present?

Or are you going to get her dinner instead?

Or are you just going to get her a card? L


  • Get as ARRIVE

What time did you get to work today?

Are you looking forward getting home this evening?

What will your life be like when you get to 50?


  • Get as very colloquial use of UNDERSTAND

Did you get the joke?

Or maybe you didn’t actually get the accent of the speaker?

Or maybe sometimes it’s just difficult to get everything in English!?


  • Get + adjective as BECOME (reflexive or comparative function)

Are you getting tired from reading so much about get?

Is it getting dark outside because you’ve been reading this for a long time?

Maybe, just maybe, you’re getting a bit bored of get and you stop reading…


But the best bit is coming up…


  • Get as the main verb in PHRASAL VERBS (your favourite)

Thought you’d get away with not finishing my lovely list of get?

Or maybe you are just desperate to get away from your computer for the day?

Or did you think you were getting by just fine without this lexical overload?


I’m sure you’ll get through it. I mean it’s practically finished…


  • Get as part of fixed/idiomatic expressions

So… did you get the message/picture that get can be used in many different ways?

Or do you get the impression that you are never going to remember all these?

Maybe you should get some rest after so much GET! You could also get into the habit of reading all about get before you get yourself to bed?


  1. The question is, Do you reallllly need to use get to get by in English-speaking contexts?

Well, not necessarily, but it could help you get to where you need to be on your English language learning mission. It is not just used in colloquial contexts and gets easier with practice.

Do you really need to get how it is used?

Well. Yes. Get with it please and see all of above.


By Ellie Ballam