Uses of Get

The word get can be used in different ways and has various meanings depending on how it’s used in its context. This page will help you feel more comfortable in  how to use get in different ways. If you would like to learn more about the usage of get, you’ve come to the right place. Feel free to look around, learn, and practice.

Below is a list of the different ways it can be use:

Talking about buying, receiving, or obtaining something.
Get + Noun

He went to the shop to get some milk.

I got an email from my cousin yesterday.

She got an A+ on her history exam.

 * Note: We can also use this structure with abstract nouns.

He got a good education from Harvard University.

Describing ownership or keeping something on your person
Have/Has got + Noun

She has got a lot of friends.

They‘ve got a nice house.

* Note: The phrase, have got, is actually the Present Perfect Simple.
During informal spoken English, this can also be shortened to got (see Uses of Have).

I have got a red car.

I have a red car.

I got a red car.

Talking about things that happen to us or others
Get + Past Participle

We are getting married in the spring.

We got lost, so we had to ask for directions.

Talking about traveling, going, and arriving somewhere
Get + to + Place

We should get to the airport in time for your flight.

I should be getting home soon.

What time did you get home from school yesterday?

*Note: We do not use to with certain words like home.

He got to the office late.

He got home late.

With Phrasal Verbs
Get + Particle (preposition)

She really gets on with her sister.

When did you get back from your holiday?

What time do you usually get up?

Describing the opportunity to do something
Get + Clause

We are so happy that we finally got the chance to meet you.

I got to see some old friends at the high school reunion.

He got to meet his favourite rock band.

She got the chance to see the new Star Wars film on the weekend.

 *Note: When building the opportunity clause, we can either use the infinitive of the verb directly after get or we can use nouns such as: chance, opportunity, etc in between.

I’m so glad I got to go to the football match.

I’m so glad I got the opportunity to go to the football match.

Describing a change or when something becomes something
Get + Adjective

It gets dark early during the winter.

* Note: We can use the Present Continuous form of get to show that something is in the process of becoming.

It is getting late, we should go.

Talking about having a service done for us
Get + Object + Past Participle

He got his car painted at the local body shop.

This is much like with have something done (see Uses of Have).

* Note: This structure can also be used to talk about finishing something.

I’m not allowed outside until I finish my homework.

I’m not allowed outside until I get my homework finished.

For uses of Get exercises go to: