'Get' is a common verb in English and can take many meanings. In this lesson, we are going to learn all about it.

How To Use "Get" in English?

'Get' is commonly used among native English speakers. In this lesson, we are going to discuss how to learn and use it.

Functions of 'Get'

'Get' as the Main Verb

One of the main functions of 'get' is to function as the main verb. Below, we are going to learn all about its different meanings in different contexts:


  • When we receive something from someone, we use 'get':

Did you get the flowers I sent you?

Where did she get this bag from?

I got a call from Joseph last night and he was really sorry for his mistake.

  • When we want to indicate that we have gained something, we use 'get':

Marianna was so happy cause she got a new job.

Stop trying to get her attention at ay cost.

He is sure that he will eventually get the money.

  • We can also use 'get' when we are buying something:

Did Sarah get that dress she wanted so badly the other day?

On the way home, I suddenly decided to get a cake and celebrate Aco's birthday together .

  • We can also use 'get' to talk about the money we got from selling something:

How much did you get for the car, though?

They got 5000$ for the bookshop.

  • When we want to show that we must fetch something/someone, we use 'get' as the main verb:

Anne went to get help but she hasn't come back yet.

After the dinner, they went to get their daughter from her auntie's house.

  • When we want to show the mark we got in a test, we use 'get':

I was sure I would get an A but I don't know why I got a D.

Kelly got a B in Physics and an A in Literature.

  • When someone is suffering from an illness, we use 'get' to refer to it:

I think my classmate is getting a cold.

Henry gets migraines too often and I think it's time he visits a doctor.

  • When someone is sent to jail for a crime he/she committed, we use 'get' to talk about it:

That girl got two months for stealing from that store.

Your husband will get ten years for manslaughter.

  • When we want to get connected to the internet, a TV channel, etc. we use 'get':

It seems that neither of us can get mobile phone reception.

In our area, we cannot get the Netflix Channel.

  • When we want to speak to someone over the phone, we use 'get':

I called earlier but I couldn't get you.

The manager wanted to get the employee but instead her got his friend.

  • When we arrive at a place, we can use 'get'. Please note that in this case, the verb is followed by an adverb or a preposition:

My family and I got to the San Francisco airport at around 5 in the morning.

Why can't she wait till we get home?

  • When we want to show tat we are moving to or from a particular place, we use 'get':

He came home and got into bed without saying anything.

Get down from the roof and talk to your mom.

  • We can use 'get' to use the public transportation:

I didn't understand a word they said let alone get a taxi back then.

Well, ladies and gentlemen. Let's get a bus and head down the village together.

  • When we want to persuade someone to do something, we use 'get':

I hope to get mom to let me come with y'all to the party.

She said that she couldn't get her to see things from another perspective.

  • When we begin doing something, we use 'get':

We finally got talking to each other.

Since it's getting dark, we'd better get going.

  • When we want to informally talk about the opportunities we got, we use 'get':

I'm angry that my friend got to dance in the festival instead of me.

Sometimes, people get to do things you always wished for.

  • When we want to prepare a meal for someone, we use 'get':

I gave her a sleeping pill while I get dinner.

Don't worry cause Hannah said she'd get lunch for us all.

  • When we want to answer a phone call or see who is behind the door, we use 'get':

Mom, can you get the door for me?

She left the baby to get the phone.

  • When we want to catch or hold someone, sometimes to punish them, we use 'get':

It is unfortunate that the police never got Jack the Ripper.

She dreams of getting him by the throat and strangling him to death.

  • When we want to understand something/someone, we use 'get':

I just didn't get the part where you talked about death.

A : She wants to take revenge.

B : I don't get it. Does she really think that she will get better if she takes revenge?

  • When we confuse someone, we use 'get':

A : Tell me the name of this flower.

B : You got me there.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'get' functions as the main verb here, it comes after the subject. Please note that whenever we have an imperative sentence, we use the verb at the beginning of the sentence. Look at the examples below:

I'll get some tea for you then.

Here, we have an auxiliary verb which has come before the main verb.

Get the phone, Helen.

'Get' as the Linking Verb

'Get' can also function as a linking verb. Below, we are going to learn all about it:


As you might know, linking verbs connect the subject to an adjective. 'Get' can sometimes be used as a linking verb.

  • When we want show that we reached a specific condition, we use 'get':

She got me angry real bad.

In the end, humans get used to everything.

Position in a Sentence

As it was clear, linking verbs are there to connect the subject to an adjective. So, when 'get' functions as a linking verb, it must always come before an adjective. Look at the following examples for more clarification:

I'm happy that you get excited about the little things.

I hate it when George gets drunk and behaves this way.


It might come in handy to know that 'get' is also a causative verb. A causative verb is used to show that some people/things participate in making something happen. Look below:

She gets her house cleaned by those maids.

Idioms and Expressions

We have several idioms and expressions with 'get' in the English language. In the following list, we are going to learn all about them:

  • Be getting on for: When someone/something has reached a specific age, number, etc. we use this idiom:

She's getting on for thirty.

A : What time is it?

B : I think it's getting on for the midnight.

  • Cannot get over something: When something usually bad has happened and you cannot believe it:

Martha still cannot get over how she was fooled.

I thought you were stronger but It seems that you cannot get over her.

  • Get away from it all: When someone is going on a trip to relax, we use this idiom:

I just need week in the villa to get away from it all.

  • Get something going: When an engine, machine, system, etc. is working properly, we use this idiom:

I called a repairman to get the system going.

Don't worry, we will get the engines going in no time.

  • Get it: When someone is punished, we use this idiom to refer to it:

If your family finds out that you're doing drugs, you'll get it.

  • Get someone nowhere: When something/someone is not helping them make any progress:

These bags are getting us nowhere, boss.

Reading these articles just confused him more and got him nowhere.

  • Get there: When we reach our goals, we use this idiom:

I thought I'd get there by the end of the year but life is never predictable.

Rather than focusing on getting there, learn to enjoy the process.

  • What has gotten into someone?: When someone is acting differently, we use this idiom:

Have you seen Jack recently? What has gotten into him?

They are going to kill'em all. I don't what has suddenly gotten into them.


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