The Many Meanings of Get (ESL Grammar Handout) | Language Mechanics | Linguistic Typology

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A handout for ESL teachers explaining some of the more common meanings of the verb 'get' in english.
    If you look up the word ‘get’  in the dictionary you will see that it has many, many different meanings in English. It always has the same pronunciation, so the only way to know the meaning is from the context. You need to learn the various meanings of get , so that you can guess the correct meaning based on the context. Here are some of the more common meanings of ‘get’ : 1   To get + direct object  = to obtain OR  to receive OR  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) 2 To get + place expression = to 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? 3   To get + adjective  = to become (to change 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.    When it gets warmer   I’ll go swimming in the lake .   There are also many phrasal verbs  containing the word ‘get’ . Here are some of the more common ones: to get + Meaning Example to get at  to try to express I think I see what you're getting at.  I agree. to get away with  to escape punishment for a crime or bad action I can't believe you got away with  cheating on that test! to get by  to cope/manage (financially) We don’t  earn much, but we get by.   to get down  to depress, to descend This rain is really getting me down . to get off   to leave a form of transport (train, bus, bicycle, plane) We got off the train just before the bomb exploded. to get on  1. to enter/sit on a form of transport (train, bus, bicycle, plane) 2. to have a good rapport/relationship with someone 1. He got on his bicycle and rode down the street. 2. Amy and I get on . to get on with  1. to proceed 2. to have a good rapport/relationship with someone 1. I have so much homework, I'd better get on with  it. 2. The students get on with  their teacher.    to get + Meaning Example to get out of   to avoid doing something, especially a duty She got out of the washing-up every day, even when it was her turn to do it. to get over  to recover (from an illness, a surprise) Have you gotten over your cold yet? to get through  to use or finish all of something We've got through all the sugar. Can you buy some more? to get up  to leave your bed He gets up at 6.00 a.m. every morning. to get up to  to do - usually something bad The children are very quiet. I wonder what they're getting up to.     There are also some useful phrases used in everyday conversation  which contain ‘get’ . These include: 1   To get (something)  = to understand (something) Do you get it? = Do you understand it? I don’t get why the council wants to close the hospital. = I don’t understand why the council wants to close the hospital.   2 To get rid of something  = to throw something away I'm going to get rid of all these old newspapers. = I’m going to throw all of these old newspaper s away You should get rid of those old clothes, you never wear them. = You should throw those old clothes away, you never wear them.
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