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This week, we’ll be looking about some meanings of the verb ‘get’ that do not appear in the book. In class, we have practiced the verb ‘get’ with the meanings of ‘become,’ ‘arrive,’ ‘obtain,’ ‘receive,’ and ‘fetch.’ But there are many other meanings of the verb, some of which we will learn now.


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Another meaning of ‘get’ is ‘understand.’ This is very colloquial. If we say, for example, ‘I don’t get it,’ it means the same as saying you don’t understand it. When we use ‘get’ in this way, we need to say something after it. This is to say that we can’t end the sentence with the word ‘get;’ we would need to say, “I don’t understand.” For example:

  • I don’t get it.
  • He doesn’t get what we are trying to do.


We can also say that we get somebody to do something, and it communicates the idea that we convince them or obligate them to do something. It is generally obvious whether it is convincing or obligating from the context (what the action they’re doing is). For example:

  • The mafia boss got the mayor to look the other way and not arrest his criminal associates.
  • I don’t know how I get my children to clean their rooms every day, but they do it!


It is also possible to use ‘get’ instead of the auxiliary verb ‘be’ to form sentences in the passive voice, as we can see in the following sentences:

  • The man got killed crossing the street.
  • The town got destroyed during the war.


Another way to use ‘get’ is in the expression ‘to get to do something,’ which means that you have the chance (opportunity) to do it. For example:

  • He got to be president for one day.
  • The children got to drive the firetruck around the block.


We also have the expression ‘Don’t get me wrong.’ This expression means “don’t misunderstand me.” We use it at the beginning of a sentence. For example:

  • Don’t get me wrong, I agree that it sounded like a good idea at first, but now it’s clear that it won’t work.
  • Don’t get me wrong, I like hamburgers, I just think we shouldn’t eat them too often since they’re not healthy.

There are many meanings of the verb ‘get,’ which make it a particularly hard verb to master, but hopefully this article has helped you understand some of them! Practice what you’ve learned with the exercise.


A. Edstrom
Callan Team

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