Getting to Grips with GetIt's only a small word, but 'get' has the power to drive many English learners into a state of panic, and conclude it's something better avoided. This is particularly the case with speakers of Romance languages like Spanish, who find it far easier to use a formal Latinate word with the same meaning, than risk the ambiguous and confusing little alternative. But 'get' is actually a fantastic little friend, and one of the most common verbs in spoken English. It just needs a bit of explaining and practice to become one of those tools you realise makes English a lot easier, both to understand and for expressing yourself. So, before we get into explanations, let's first look at what makes 'get' a dirty word for learners.
1. 'Get' is an irregular verb. (Aargh! The horrible three columns we had to memorize at school!)
2. So 'got' is part of a two-word verb, 'have got' like in "I've got two brothers" and now we're saying it's also the past of 'get'? Oh no!
3. 'Get' has so many meanings. How can I remember them all to use it?
a) "I'm never lonely. Fortunately, I've got John, who's always good company."
b) "I've got John this sweater for his birthday. I hope he likes it."
- get on / get off: a bus, plane, boat, bike, horse
get in / get out of: a car, taxi, bath, bed
Do the exercise below to practise this use of 'get':
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Question 1 of 2
1. Match the meaning of ‘get’ to the sentences.
- starting to feel
"Drink up your coffee love, it's getting cold."
"Maybe I should see the doctor. I'm getting that pain in my chest again."
"There's still lots of work to do, but we're slowly getting through it."
"Getting back to what I was saying, I still think a holiday would be good for all of us."
"I was just getting into bed when there was a loud knock on the front door."
"I think I'm getting a cold. I've got a headache, and my throat's starting to feel sore."
"After John died, Anne was in a terrible state. She still has her bad days, but she seems to be getting over it at last,"
Question 2 of 2
2. Complete the sentences from these options:
over back through pain cold headache into
Correct 8 / 8PointsIncorrect / 8 Points
a) "Drink up your coffee love, it's getting (cold)." b) "There's still a lot of work to do, but we're slowly getting (through) it." c) "Maybe I should see the doctor. I'm getting that (pain) in my chest again." d) "Getting (back) to what I was saying, I still think a holiday would be good for all of us." e) "I was just getting (into) bed when there was a loud knock on the door." f) "After John died, Anne was in a terrible state. She still has her bad days, but she seems to be getting (over) it at last." g) "I think I'm getting a cold. I've got a (headache), and my throat is starting to feel sore."