Using Get for a Change in State
'Get' can indicate a process of change. The change can be related to you, another person or a thing. To understand this better, let’s look at a few examples:
"I get bored when I watch TV."
..which means a change from feeling not bored to bored.
"Get the cat off the table."
..a change from the cat on the table to away from the table.
"We need to get some work done."
..a change from work unfinished to finished.
..a change from there to here.
'Get' can also be used in so many other ways which makes it a tricky verb to master. But if you look at the structure it’s used in, in addition to its different meanings, it could help you understand it better. So, let’s look at a few common structures:
1. get + noun
When we use ‘get’ with a direct object (noun or pronoun), it usually means 'receive, bring, obtain or buy'. The exact meaning depends on the object. For example,
"His movie got good reviews."
"He got some money from his father."
"I’ll get my jacket and then we can leave."
"I’m going out to get some wine for the party."
When using this structure, 'get' can also mean ‘understand’:
"He never gets my jokes."
Get can be used with 2 objects:
"Let me get you a drink."
2. get + adjective
When we use ‘get’ before an adjective, it usually means 'become'. For example,
"The situation is getting worse."
"Their relationship is starting to get serious."
"He got annoyed because she wasn’t listening to him."
3. get + to
When using this structure, 'get' can mean 'arrive':
"She didn’t get to Chicago till after midnight."
"I got to work late because of the weather"
Remember! We never use ‘to’ with 'home, downtown, here and there'.
"How are you getting home tonight?"
"What time will you get here?"
"I won’t be able to get there until later."
4. get + infinitive
When we use 'get' with an infinitive, it can mean 'to have the opportunity to do something'. Let’s look at some examples:
"Do you get to travel much?"
"I didn’t get to see him. He was too busy."
"When do we get to meet your new girlfriend? "
5. get + object + infinitive
When we use 'get' in this structure, it can mean ‘to make someone do something’ or ‘to persuade someone to do something’. So we can say:
"Get Mark to help us if you can."
"I can’t get her to change her mind."
"Can you get them to stop talking?"
Remember, in almost every case, 'get' is more common than its alternative, so it’s a very important verb to practice often and understand. If you have any questions, please send me a message.