The word ‘get’ is one of the most common and versatile verbs in English. It can be used in lots of different ways, and is usually seen in informal writing or speaking. You can use the word ‘get’ on its own, with a preposition to make a phrasal verb, or with a participle in the passive voice.

Now we’re going to look at some of these uses in more detail. So, let’s get started!


1. Get = to obtain, to receive, to buy


The word ‘get’ can be used as a verb to express the actions of obtaining, receiving or buying. To form a sentence, we use get + direct object or get + indirect object + object.

Let’s take a look at some examples. Don’t forget ‘get’ is an irregular verb, so when we use the past simple we change (or conjugate) to ‘got’

To obtain

  • She got the telephone number from her boss.
  • I got the grade to pass the course.
  • Unfortunately, Henry didn’t get the job.

To receive

  • Did you get my letter?
  • He got a fine for driving too quickly.
  • I got a delivery this morning.

To buy

  • Can you get some milk from the shop?
  • I didn’t get you a newspaper. I’m sorry.
  • He’s just been shopping and got a new face cream.
Get as to obtain_buy or receive | Oxford House Barcelona

2. Get = to reach, to arrive


We can use ‘get’ when talking about arriving or reaching a place, to express movement or travel. To form a sentence, we use get + place expression. After the word ‘get’, we also normally use the preposition ‘to’.


To reach

  • How long did it take you to get to the top of the mountain?
  • If you keep walking you’ll suddenly get to a bridge.

To arrive

  • I usually get home at 7pm.
  • What time do you get to school?
Get as to reach_to arrive | Oxford House Barcelona

3. Get = to become


‘Get’ is also used to express a change of state or situation. To form a sentence, we use get + adjective.

To become

  • Don’t get angry!
  • Wear a jacket or you’ll get cold.
  • The weather gets warmer starting in April.
  • In the UK it gets dark at 5pm.
  • After going for a run, I get really hungry.
Get as in to become | Oxford House Barcelona

4. Get as a phrasal verb


‘Get’ can be used in phrasal verbs, which have various meanings. To form a sentence, use get + preposition/adverb. Here are a handful of common examples:

Get as Phrasal Verb | Oxford House Barcelona

5. Get in the passive


We can also use the word ‘get’ in the passive form. Here it is used in place of the verb ‘to be’ to sound more informal. So, instead of using the standard passive be + participle, we can also use get + participle. For example:

  • My bike was stolen (standard passive)
  • My bike got stolen (get passive)
Get in the Passive | Oxford House Barcelona

We use the passive form when we want to emphasize the nature of the event, or the people involved instead of who does the action. For example:

  • Mike just got promoted. (Emphasis on Mike rather than his boss)
  • The burglar got arrested. (Emphasis on the burglar rather than the police)

‘Get’ is also very commonly used to describe negative events. For example:

  • Our house got badly damaged in the storm.
  • We got delayed coming back from London.

6. Get something done


Our final use of the word get is a more informal way of saying ‘to have something done’ for us or to us. This is normally when we pay for some kind of service – such as at the hairdresser, mechanic or dentist. To form a sentence, we use the structure get + object + past participle.

To get something done

  • I’m getting my hair cut on Wednesday.
  • I got my teeth checked at the dentist this morning.
  • I need to get my laptop repaired.
  • I’ll get your coat cleaned if you like.
  • He gets his car washed every Saturday.
Get something done | Oxford House Barcelona

Enjoy this post? Check out our blog post: 10 phrasal verbs to help you become an English expert.

Glossary for Language Learners


Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.

Versatile (adj): able to be used for lots of different purposes.

Get started (exp): to begin.

Hairdresser (n): the place where you go for a haircut.


adj = adjective

exp = adverb

n = noun

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